Fox files: ‘SLC Airport update’

I’ve really enjoyed being on the Salt Lake City Airport Board the last several months and appreciate the opportunity to ask questions and provide my input on the airport’s operations and the terminal construction project.

I learned a few really cool things at our most recent meeting that I wanted to share:

First off, the really really big news is that our partners at Delta Airlines have signed a lease extension with the Airport through 2034! Delta’s lease with SLC is the second longest lease in the country/industry. This gives the airport, the debt agencies, and our entire market a great signal of Delta’s ongoing commitment to Salt Lake City, Utah.

Second, I learned that the food and beverage RFP for the new terminal is out. This is a great opportunity for local small businesses to put together a compelling package for the new terminal. I hope that our food and beverage and concessions are reflective of the very dynamic and growing food scene we have in Utah. As a hub airport, the food and bev at the airport can be a passenger’s first experience with Utah.

Finally, I learned a ton of great stats about the new terminal build. If, like me, you are a regular passenger at SLC you know that a lot of progress is made weekly. If you haven’t seen the airport recently it would be worth a visit. There is an observation deck on the 3rd floor of the short term parking garage and the Airport will host tours for interested groups. The Airport is spending about $2 million per day, or $45 million per month in construction costs. To date, the Airport has injected over $900 million into the local economy. The current budget for the construction project is $3.5 billion, so that gives you a sense for how much of the new terminal has been completed an how much remains. The whole Central Utility Plant is done. Random factoid: the Dominion gas meter is 27 feet long and is the largest in the state (think of the size of yours at home and multiply that by 30). There are 1,370 trade workers on site, and there have been 1,651 days without a lost time injury. 2.8 million hours have been worked to-date. The scale is pretty astonishing.

The project is on track for a 2020 opening. I see a lot of airports in my line of work and there are a few great ones out there. The new SLC will be among the finest in the country and the world. Even following the new build, our per passenger fees will be about half of that of our peer airports. That stat is a great testament to the vision of the fine people who ran the airport in the past and who are managing the project today.