The new north: DTW debuts new North Terminal. What does it mean for the region?


You only get one shot at a first impression. For the nearly 36 million passengers who arrive and depart from Southeast Michigan each year by air, Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) is the region's most prominent doorstep.

This global gateway to and from our region--and one of the world's largest air transportation hubs--was greatly enhanced by the opening of the award-winning McNamara Terminal in 2002. With the new North Terminal opening its doors to travelers on September 16 to replace the aging Smith and Berry terminals, now all Metro Detroit travelers will be welcomed by one of the most modern passenger facilities in North America.

"Having a modern and efficient air transport hub, featuring vibrant air service to points around the globe, is vital to our region's economic competitiveness," said Lester Robinson, CEO of the Wayne County Airport Authority, which operates DTW. "The Airport. Authority is proud to offer such a facility to the customers and the region we serve."

With a modest price tag of $431 million, the North Terminal represents a significant yet fiscally responsible investment in the region offering wide-reaching benefits to businesses and consumers. The 26-gate, 850,000 sq. ft. facility is capable of handling as many as 14 million passengers per year with room to grow. Construction of the terminal, which began with the demolition of the former Davey Terminal in late 2005, created nearly 3,200 local jobs. The new facility now serves as Detroit's home to Air Canada, American Airlines, AirTran Airways, Frontier Airlines, Lufthansa German Airlines, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, USA 3000 and charter flights. Northwest Airlines and its Sky Team[TM] partners Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and AeroMexico will remain at the McNamara Terminal. China Southern is scheduled to join them in March.

Both travelers and airlines benefit from the terminal's linear design, which creates an easy environment to navigate as well as a faster, more fuel-efficient method of taxiing aircraft that saves fuel and reduces both environmental emissions and taxi time. The terminal's new Federal Inspection Services facility is capable of processing up to 800 arriving international passengers per hour. An adjacent ground transportation center (still under construction at press time) will soon provide North Terminal customers with easy connections between the terminal,...

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