SALT LAKE CITY – The new Salt Lake City International Airport took off just before sunrise on Tuesday morning with a bang.
The first flight to exit the new airport – Delta Flight 2020 – was honored with two fire trucks – a water cannon salute at 5 a.m. as the plane landed on the runway by two overhead currents and through turheads as a crowd of pimps. Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall looked behind Concours Anne’s glass windows, applauding and cheering.
The replacement of the old Salt Lake City International Airport, a 4.1 billion replacement lorry that will be demolished and rebuilt by the end of the year, opened its doors to tourists for the first time on Tuesday. Passengers went to an airport they had never seen before, with a new large central terminal and its first consent, the Concourse.
Monday marked the last day for passengers passing through the old airport – a facility that has spent much of its useful life. When it served more than 26 million last year, it was built for 10 million passengers.
The airport also opened a new parking garage, with 3,600 stalls – twice the public parking capacity of the old garage – that sits right next to the central terminal. The new garage is equipped with a camera-based sensor system that uses lights to indicate where open spaces are. Ahead of the grand opening, airport officials banned the route to direct passengers to the new structure, causing vehicles to be led straight into the new drop-and-drop and pickup zones with ease.
Aviation – which marks a chaotic and uncertain year for the aviation industry and still a new era for Salt Lake City International Airport – headed to Atlanta, the headquarters for Delta, calling Salt Lake City its fourth. Hub Airport.
Mendenhall announced Tuesday that the hub is “the most beautiful airport in the U.S. and the world.”
“This is a great day for Salt Lake City and the region as a whole,” the mayor said after the ribbon-cutting ceremony honoring the official grand opening of the new airport.
City, airport and Delta officials celebrated the grand opening with Delta cookies, a cake replica of the new terminal attached to the Frosting aircraft, and balloon suitcases, all on the floor and in the circumstances.
This was the last words of Julie Erwin, a resident of South Jordan, when she and her husband left for the airport for their vacation in Florida at 5:00 am.
She was sitting on Gary A21 waiting for a Delta Flight 2020 flight to Atlanta, where Erwin said he had no plans to open a new airport in Salt Lake. She didn’t even know her flight would be opening – and she didn’t expect a water cannon salute.
“We were amazed,” he said.
Irwin said a family member took him to the airport to pick him up, expecting a normal route. But when they arrived, due to the one-way lane, they moved away from the old airport and to the new route. She said the drop-zone was easy to navigate and they got out of their car right in front of the new terminal.
As they walked inside, Erwin said the first thing that caught his eye was the art installation near the escalator, “The Falls”, which was an 80-foot sculpture of glass panes of light-spreading glass to represent a waterfall in a valley. And on the escalator, as he looked out of a balcony, Ivory said it was also edged by “The Canyon”, an avy-tumbled, football-sized centerpiece that was more than w00 wavy, covered with fabric, overlaid with aluminum fins. Was gone. The walls of the Central Terminal are illuminated by a programmable lighting system, meaning the slot valleys of southern Utah are represented. Both art installations are by California-based artist Gordon Heuther.
“She’s beautiful. I’m amazed at how beautiful she is,” Erwin said.
Erwin praised the new terminal and the modern feel of Concourse A, something she predicted to keep in mind for Sult Lake City visitors as they pass by.
“It’s like Salt Lake has arrived,” he said. “When people come, they don’t think, ‘Oh my God, this is such a small and old airport.’ It’s sophisticated and modern and it’s really cool. “
Tuesday marks the 25th anniversary of Salt Lake City International Airport’s executive director, and marks a new future for Salt Lake City across the country. Officials praise the new, state-of-the-art airport as one of the state’s biggest economic drivers for decades to come. They project that it will generate 5.5 billion in future economic growth.
“It’s really extraordinary,” Wyatt said. “This project will have a huge positive impact on this community for the balance of the century. It’s a really surprising thing to think about. It is the first airport of the 21st century (replacement in the US), and it may be the last, as it is very difficult to do. And it’s here in Salt Lake. “
State and national airport officials say the status of the new airport in Salt Lake City is not just for the weather of Hurricane COVID-19, but to thrive after a long time, ready to accommodate air travel when someone returns with revenge – who are confident that He will do this as a result. Dust from the epidemic freezes.
In the early days of the airport redevelopment effort, Salt Lake City Councilman J.T. Martin bought tickets on Delta Flight 2020.
“I just couldn’t miss this opportunity,” Martin said. In all its glory it has been surreal to see the finished project, he added.
“This will create a huge economy for the city, for the state, for the university, for our industries.” Said Martin.
Martin said that after many years of planning, the opening of the airport, tied to the COVID-19, is “unfortunate”, but the airport has less debt and plenty of cash in hand as an investor, so as a board member he feels confident in the airport’s financial situation.
“We have a lot of money that we can afford. I haven’t been worried for two years … until then, it will all escape. “And if it’s not, it doesn’t matter,” Martin said with a laugh. “If we stay in this mess for another two years, all the rules will change. But we are ready. Two years is a long time, and flying (coming back). “
Tuesday’s opening was a big day for Delta, which will occupy all 25 gates in Concours, including six international gates. In six weeks, when Concourse B opens on October 27, Concourse B will open with 20 doors for Alaska, American, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest and United Airlines.
Airport Philips, Delta’s senior vice president of airport customer service, called the opening of the new airport a “bright light – almost a beacon” that has brought unprecedented challenges to the industry.
Airlines have received billions in federal aid to cope with the epidemic, while 19,000 Delta employees took an early retirement package in July to help the company weather the epidemic.
“Everything that’s going bad right now … it’s left,” Phillips said, calling Salt Lake City now a “destination airport” and an exciting destination for travelers looking for a comfortable option.
Delta has now chosen Salt Lake City for its largest sky club – 28,000 square feet, with two bars, a breakfast buffet, an outdoor balcony, a fireplace and a shower for members.
“It’s just gorgeous,” Phillips said. “I hope (passengers) have an incredible experience and a little optimism and excitement about the journey.”
The airport’s new linear design – with a central terminal and two parallel counterparts – is considered the “gold standard” for hub airports, and is designed to be more efficient than a wheel-and-spoke layout. The linear design is to eliminate the obstruction and laziness of the aircraft, and it also allows for easy expansion of the east end of the counters.
To Lori Smansky of South Weber, the new airport has been a bright spot in an otherwise panicked and gloomy year.
“It’s good to see something happy and exciting,” she said as she waited at Gate A21 for boarding Delta Flight 2020. “Whenever you turn on the news or open a newspaper, I think it’s very indifferent, sad, full of drama and chaos and stress and tension. It’s good to see something to celebrate.”
Schmeinsky, who is on his way to Atlanta for a business trip, said he explored the new airport with ease, even though he did not expect to move into the new building. She was also impressed with the future technology in the huge new, 16-lane safety screening area, providing each passenger with a segmented area where they pick up bins from the slot below. The conveyor belt system automatically returns the bins, so passengers no longer have to stack their own bins.
Smensky said it was a strange time between the opening of the new airport and Kovid-1am, but he praised airport officials and airlines for hand-sanitizing stations on practically every corner, saying passengers “feel safe”.
“I’m impressed they actually pulled it off during the covid.” “Given the shock of everything in the world right now, the fact that they did it during the epidemic and opened it up and made it look like this is impressive.”
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