COVID-19 could help Salt Lake Airport expansion save $300 million

May 21, 2020, 5:20 PM
salt lake airport expansion...
Construction crews work at the Salt Lake International Airport in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, March 15, 2017. Photo: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — In a roundabout way, COVID-19 may help save the Salt Lake City airport $300 million on its ongoing expansion project. 

Reduced travel means easier construction

Even though air travel is picking up a bit, the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced the number of passengers going through Salt Lake City International Airport. 

“Typically, at this time of the year we’d be seeing about 23,000 passengers coming through our security checkpoint. Currently, we’re seeing 3,000 to 4,000 passengers,” said airport spokeswoman Nancy Volmer.

But that drop in passengers has given the airport an opportunity to save a lot of time and money on the second phase of its expansion project. It adds up to about two years of time and up to $300 million. 

Volmer says it’s easier to tear down concourses and terminals if fewer gates are being used. 

“[Previously] we had to keep our gate count up. But now that we don’t have the same level of passengers, we don’t need to have those gates available. So, we’re looking at tearing down the existing concourses sooner,” Volmer said. 

Salt Lake airport expansion plans

Airport Executive Director Bill Wyatt laid out the revised expansion projections during an airport advisory board meeting on Wednesday. 

The second phase of the expansion project has been more tricky because it requires the demolition of terminals and concourses that have been in heavy use. With fewer passengers due to COVID-19, it becomes easier to tear down buildings and erect new ones. 

“What we’ll be doing is probably tearing down our existing parking garage, the existing terminals and concourses, and then we’ll start building to the east. By doing so, that will save time and money,” he said. 

Salt Lake City International Airport is also on track to open a new terminal and concourse this September.     

Today’s Top Stories

All News

supreme court pictured, its new term has started and will hear new cases...
The Associated Press

Supreme Court’s top cases for new term, new Justice Jackson

Already the Supreme Court has said it will decide cases on a range of major issues including affirmative action, voting rights and the rights of LGBTQ people.
9 hours ago
The weather in Utah has been stormy, and that won't be easing up yet for some areas. Salt Lake vall...
Adam Small

Storms blast southern Utah, flash flooding possible

The weather in Utah has been stormy and for southern Utah, it won't be easing up soon. National parks are expecting flash floods today.
9 hours ago
FORT MYERS BEACH, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 02:   In this aerial view,  destruction left in the wake of Hur...
Nouran Salahieh, CNN

Florida faces an ’emotional roller coaster’ as the search for survivors of Hurricane Ian continues and the death toll rises

Many of the Ian-related deaths -- 42 -- have been reported in southwestern Florida's Lee County, which includes Fort Myers and Sanibel Island.
9 hours ago
Maria Astorga-Chavez (left) was last seen in August of 2015 with Francisco Jesus Huerta-Martinez. H...
Chris Jacobs

Suspect in 2015 murder of West Valley City woman arrested

The suspect was on the run from law enforcement for seven years at the time of his arrest. Francisco Jesus Huerta-Martinez is now in jail.
9 hours ago
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 17: Sacheen Littlefeather on stage at AMPAS Presents An Evening...
Toyin Owoseje, CNN

Sacheen Littlefeather, Native American activist and actress, dead at 75

In August, the Academy formally apologized to Littlefeather for the mistreatment she experienced during her speech and in the years that followed.
9 hours ago
FILE: The sun sets as a rainstorm blows over Delicate Arch in Arches National Park near Moab on Sat...
Devin Oldroyd

Body found in Arches National Park Saturday

rand County Sheriff's Office reports the body of a female was found in Arches National Park Saturday, Oct. 1.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
COVID-19 could help Salt Lake Airport expansion save $300 million