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DIA plans security expansion, car theft crackdown to prepare for predicted passenger increase

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Posted at 7:56 AM, Nov 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-30 09:56:13-05

DENVER — It’s been a busy holiday season at Denver International Airport so far. CEO Phil Washington said close to 600,000 people passed through security checkpoints during the Thanksgiving holiday, calling it a 12.2 percent increase compared to this time last year.

More passengers means a need for more space. DIA is working with the Transportation Security Administration to add more security lines to ease up the traffic jams.

“We will be adding four additional lanes probably in the second quarter of 2023,” said Washington.

In addition, two new checkpoints will be built as part of the Great Hall Project, which aims to help accommodate the increase in passengers that's expected in the coming years.

One project that's complete is a gate expansion that will bring a lot of new concessions with it.

“I’m talking the 39 new gates are complete. We did it within the city council approved capacity,” said Washington.

DIA is also cracking down on crime. Officials announced they're working with the Denver Police Department on various reports of car thefts at the airport.

Washington said DPD has increased patrols in all of DIA's parking areas. Airport officials are looking at installing surveillance cameras inside the parking garages. He said there's been a few recent instances where people have been caught in the act stealing a car, stressing that officials are staying on top of the problem.

“It’s a crazy thing. It's a frustrating thing, too, when you come from a trip and your car's not there, or your catalytic converter is not there,” said Washington.

DIA is also working with the Regional Transportation District to make fares cheaper for both travelers and airport employees, stressing that it's cheaper for some to park at the airport rather than take public transportation. Washington said that shouldn't be the case.

“We’ve got a lot of low income people that work here, and they should see some relief,” the CEO said.

DIA is also working on creating the Center for Equity and Excellence in Aviation, a one-of-a-kind training center to prepare current and future employees for a career in aviation.