DIA: Record Traffic and a Budget Increase

May 5 2014, 2:20 PM

Denver International Aiport

During the past few years, Denver International Airport officials have worked to build the airport into more of an international hub, and recent figures on overseas traffic suggests that passengers have taken note. March was DIA's busiest month to date for international flights, with 229,860 flyers. In March of 2013, 190,720 international travelers passed through DIA. What's more, international traffic increased 23 percent during the first three months of 2014 compared to the same timeframe in 2013. 

“In March 2014," said manager of aviation Kim Day, "all three of our largest partners, United, Southwest, and Frontier, showed an increase in passengers over March of 2013." Domestic traffic is also up slightly, nearly two percent, during the first three months of 2014 at the airport. (Read more about Kim Day and her approach to running Denver International Airport in this 5280 Q&A.)

News of the traffic record was a bit of a bright spot for DIA just days after city officials addressed new projections that construction at the airport could land five to 10 percent over budget. Work is underway to build a new hotel and transit cener at the airport, a project that was budgeted at $544 million. 

Officials have said the increase is due to a rise in labor costs and an accelerated timeline for the project. Both projects, however, are still far from completion. The hotel is supposed to open in 2015, and the much-anticipated light rail line between Untion Station and the airport is scheduled to be running in 2016. By then, the question may be whether a train ride to the airport is enough to erase the memory of the recent budget bump. 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock