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Much of the current construction at Charlotte Douglas International Airport is close to being done including new sections of the terminal lobby expansion, which have opened in the past month.
It’s a vibe like something out of SouthPark Mall.
“I think it looks quite sophisticated, very clean,” said traveler Mariana Alvarez.
However, the construction still creates confusion.
“And then, so once I came downstairs, everything was familiar, and then it said, ‘Baggage claim. Come downstairs.’ But then there was no signage,” traveler Amy Black said. “So, I was like, ‘Where do I go?’”
Recent work upgraded the terminal lobby, security checkpoints, and the arrivals and departures area.
“The lobby expansion, everybody feels over the last couple of years, we renovated the existing concourses,” said Jack Christine, the airport’s infrastructure officer. “That’s what a customer sees. You know, that’s what happens as we tear out the ceilings and we’re replacing the floors and things like that. The customer sees all that.”
New expansions are coming as the airport continues to rapidly grow.
Charlotte Douglas passenger numbers jumped from 28 million in 2005 to 50 million in 2019.
“This continued and sustained growth means CLT is at or near capacity,” airport officials said,
Construction will continue but future work will be less visible to customers, officials said.
The airport wants to develop land that it owns over the next few years, which is across from the main entrance of the airport.
Airport officials want something to go there that will enhance the airport experience, something like a convention center, office space, restaurants, or retail shops.
There are also renovations coming to Concourse D and Concourse E.
More work includes a fourth parallel runway and two end-around taxiways on the south side of the airport, which should be finished by 2027.
That will result in shorter wait times to take off.
That is because aircraft won’t have to cross active runways, which can lead to long waits.
The airport will continue to grow but much progress that impacts travelers has been made.
“I think that now that we have the full new part of the building open, we have checkpoint one open, which is much more efficient than any of the other checkpoints that we’ve had so far, that the customer experience is already going to start to feel better at the holidays,” said Christine.
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