Mayor Ralph Becker announces plans to rebuild Salt Lake City International Airport

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    Jan. 20, 2012 1:22 p.m.

    Recession are the best time for governments to improve,repair or build infrastructure; There are plenty of contractors & workers available.It would provide jobs & get a good price. Having said that,I use the airport 8-15 times a year. I think it's one of the best & easiest airports to deal with (of course I'm used to it), 50 years old or not.I think we have other more pressing needs.

  • #1 SLC Sports Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 19, 2012 7:59 a.m.

    People need to keep in mind that roughly half the 20-22 million passengers taht utilize the SLC airport annually are Origin & Destination passengers, it's only the other half that are connecting. The present airport structure (terminals, concourses & gates) were only built to accomodate 10-12 million per year. SLC is highly obsolete.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Jan. 19, 2012 7:55 a.m.

    No public funds my....... I am flying in next week and my $170 car rental is totalling over $350 with government "fees" added. perhaps we are talking symantics, fees verses taxes, but it all comes out of my pocket and is over 100% of the original cost.

  • Southern Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 18, 2012 10:15 p.m.

    Sorely needed. Can't wait to see the design. And yes, this is a perfect opportunity to design an airport that is functional in a post-9/11 world. Most airports out there are retrofits out of necessity. Salt Lake has a chance here to build a well-functioning jewel. This, along with the transportation infrastructure going in along the Wasatch Front, will be another feather in Utah's cap.

  • Mike Rose Provo, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 6:59 p.m.

    People go read the master plan available at the airports website. In the late 1990s the airport was overcapacity with flight delays increasing from both runway and gate bottlenecks. Trends are moving up again with similar travel demand expected sometime before 2020.

    The airport will eventually be very similar in design to the Atlanta airport, the diagram showing some the old concourses being kept is merely a phase to keep the airport functional during construction of the first and second parallel concourses. The new design allows for the relatively easy addition of runways and gate capacity as travel demand requires.

  • #1 SLC Sports Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 5:09 p.m.

    ...Airlines? Even Southwest is pushing for this, not just Delta since Southwest wants more gates that can handle theri 737s and they can bring them in and out faster which with the current airport they can't do. The best way for Delta to be kept honest about airfares in SLC is for Southwest to be their competing with them in as many city paris as possible. If Delta wants to be profitable in SLC they need more international service to more than just Paris or seasonally to Tokyo. London, Franfurt and Amsterdam are needed since other carriers like Virgin Atlantic, British Ariways and Lufthansa have talked to SLC about adding service....something the airport currently can't do.

    As for taxes, school proponents can always propose an airline tax to the legislature which merely will inflame peop;le like me to encourage Utah to do what Wisconsin is doing and outlaw collective bargaining for public education. This airport project will not increase taxes or take from the schools as some are mislead into thinking.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 1:13 p.m.

    The original redesign (10 years ish ago?) was much better than what they announced... The ability to add multiple concourses as needed, like DIA or ATL should be the way they go, not just revamping what they've currently got.

  • giantfan Farmington, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 12:25 p.m.

    I don't think these improvements are being made to attract more people to Salt Lake City. It may very well be pressure from the airlines--particularly Delta--to improve the airport for most travelers that land in Salt Lake that are only hear for a connection. I don't discount the need that Salt Lake feels to stay competitive as a hub. If SLC were to lose it's hub, then there goes the ease with which travelers can even get here and that would have a huge effect on tourism.

  • Canyontreker TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 12:22 p.m.

    Lowonoil "Visitors will always get abused with fees and the reason is simple. It's easier to collect revenue from those who won't be around to vote against you next election day."

    True. But, my tour company voted by pulling out of NYC due to their insane hotel taxes. We stick with Orlando, Southern California, and Las Vegas...some of the lowest visitor taxes in the USA, perhaps the world.

    Our lawyers told us not to upset Bloomberg, so we never told him why we pulled $millions of business from his city.

  • Pavalova Surfers Paradise, AU
    Jan. 18, 2012 12:18 p.m.

    It's about time. A singular entry point for security is long overdue. Terminal 1 is always crowded, and terminal 2 has it's moments as well. A redesign/remodel is a huge improvement and is long overdue.

  • Ironmomo Ogden, Utah
    Jan. 18, 2012 12:11 p.m.

    I won't hold my breath on this one. DeeDee had the same notion during her tenure to replace the airport with one very similar to Atlanta's with the underground train linking multiple terminals. It never happened. Becker's plans are bigger than his budget, so unless those new fan dangled parking meters he's having installed downtown bring in tons of cash, I doubt this will go anywhere.

  • Cowboy Dude SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 12:07 p.m.

    Salt Lake Airport rental car tax is 16.350%.

    Compared that to 9% I just paid in Atlanta.

    No taxes...ha.

    I wonder what Delta thinks when we stick their Customers with higher PFC's. Their comment wasn't part of the announcement. Another reason airlines should go point to point instead of using a hub like Salt Lake City.

    More visitors equal more jobs. Stop sticking it to the visitor and local traveler.

  • Lowonoil Clearfield, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 11:41 a.m.

    Cowboy Dude | 11:22 a.m.:"It doesn't pay for itself. We are going to spend millions trying to get people to Utah and then charge them with more rental fees. The car rental fees need to be more competitive not higher. More travelers equal more jobs"

    Visitors will always get abused with fees and the reason is simple. It's easier to collect revenue from those who won't be around to vote against you next election day.

  • My Humble Opinion Sandy, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 11:40 a.m.

    A lot of people are just looking for things to complain about. Please read the article again. The airport operates as an enterprise fund. That means that it is self-sustaining. It doesn't get money from other sources and its money can't be used elsewhere. Besides, as FredEx pointed out, the airport is owned by Salt Lake City, not the State of Utah. City funds can't go to State departments. Sorry, but the State Dept. of Education will have to get its money elsewhere.

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    Jan. 18, 2012 11:36 a.m.

    I have been into International Airports in Europe, the US and Canada and much of Asia.

    The worst is Vancouver, BC, second worst is Salt Lake City. The best is Seoul, Korea and a close second is Singapore.

    Most European airports, with the exception of Schipol in Holland iare abysmal.

  • giantfan Farmington, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 11:35 a.m.

    Re: Cowboy Dude,

    I travel quite a bit and Salt Lake's car rentals are very competitive with other major cities like Houston, San Diego, San Francisco, Detroit, Denver, etc. Also, when I need to rent a car locally, I'll often go to the airport to do it because they end up being cheaper than if I rented downtown or at another site for the same agency.

  • Cowboy Dude SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 11:22 a.m.

    It doesn't pay for itself. We are going to spend millions trying to get people to Utah and then charge them with more rental fees. The car rental fees need to be more competitive not higher. More travelers equal more jobs.

  • FredEx Salt Lake, Ut
    Jan. 18, 2012 11:16 a.m.


    You said, "Spend the revenue from airport fees/car rental fees (really taxes) on education."

    So you believe the City of Salt Lake should fund the Utah State Office of Education? Would you also say that your income should pay my mortgage? It's the same argument.

  • Cowboy Dude SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 11:09 a.m.

    As with most International airports the best restaurants need to stay inside the security area so passengers will check-in early.

  • PA Rock Man Allentown, PA
    Jan. 18, 2012 10:00 a.m.

    What made so many of you on this board such pessimists? You are getting a new airport, that will pay for itself, construction will begin next year and is projected to be over in 8 years! The Mayor says that airport already has $250 million in the bank to start on the project. That sounds like a pretty good deal.

    I think that to many people on this board, its just easier to complain than to support a complex project that has the potential to go wrong. I would refer to you Gordon Hinckley's Sep. 9th, 2001 CES fireside talk when he said, "Cynics do not contribute, skeptics do not create, doubters do not achieve."

  • Old Scarecrow Brigham City, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 9:23 a.m.

    Amusing how the discussion centers mostly on eating at the airport and meeting family when they arrive. I travel a lot, and for travelers arriving and changing planes, the Salt Lake Airport is a relative jewel for ease of use compared to most others. I avoid Denver at all costs, avoid Chicago if I can, Houston -- don't even get me started. Surprisingly, i find that Dallas and Atlanta work pretty well, as does Ontario, CA. The airport construction will probably make me miserable for the next ten years, but by then I'll be finished, so i won't have to pay the higher fees and fares that will surely follow.
    But I may still be able to go to the airport to eat, I guess. I'll look forward to that.
    Oh, and didn't you realize that it's a state law that the airport must be under construction in some manner at all times? It won't end with the grand opening of the new airport, trust me.

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 9:09 a.m.

    What's wrong with the airport the way it is now? It's efficient and easy to navigate. Compared to "major hubs" like Atlanta our airport is a breeze.

    Though I suppose this goes with the state's motto... "If it's not broke, fix it."

    Glad I don't fly very often.

  • ManInTheMiddle SANDY, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 8:57 a.m.

    Bad idea - Totally unneeded - Complete waste of money. The airport is great. To say it's not going to cost taxpayers any money is a joke. Spend the revenue from airport fees/car rental fees (really taxes) on education.

  • Lilljemalm Gilbert, AZ
    Jan. 18, 2012 8:43 a.m.

    For those worried about "why now" and the cost, don't. I've been following this airport rebuild for several years. This has been on the drawing boards for several years and financing is in place. The airlines have been part of the process from the beginning and have already made plans to pay their part. The mayor was only announcing the plan that had already been announced in 2001, 2003 and 2005.
    I wish they had sped the process up, though. The SLC airport is far to small for the amount of traffic that goes through it.

  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 8:41 a.m.


    My home was built in 2004 and is built to withstand a very strong earthquake. My kids are safe there. The school they attend was built in the 1950's and has been evaluated by an engineer who confirmed that the school is truly a death trap during an earthquake.

    So your comment is pretty much off base.

    Nice try though.

  • FredEx Salt Lake, Ut
    Jan. 18, 2012 8:41 a.m.

    I wonder if some of you even read the article. The airport is self-sustaining. No tax dollars will be used. All the complaints about schools and Provo's airport and economic times are totally irrelevant.

    Even a minimal knowledge of government budgeting would let you know that money for a project is allocated years in advance, and it cannot be diverted to another project that citizens deem more worthy. "Why don't they take that money and xyz?" puts the government accounting on the same level as you deciding to buy milk for your cereal or gas for your lawnmower.

  • Honor Code Denver, Colorado
    Jan. 18, 2012 8:39 a.m.

    Absolutely hilarious........try fixing your "FREEWAYS" first. Every time I drive into Utah half of your interstates are torn up!!

  • Colo. Aggie Loveland, CO
    Jan. 18, 2012 8:38 a.m.

    I'm glad to hear this. The SLC airport has become a bit dated. They need to look at the Austin Bergstrom airport or the San Jose airport as great examples of modern airports with great local food service. Austin features their local great restaurants in the airport and even has some live country music at times. Both of these airports are very open, modern, and represent their communities well. Hopefully, Salt Lake can achieve something similar with much improved food service.

  • mdp Bountiful, utah
    Jan. 18, 2012 8:26 a.m.

    The idea of an unneeded new airport seems like a total waste of taxpayer money in terrible economic times. Demographics show a declining population into the future- Why the charade? Easy answer: to keep up with Denver.

  • Lowonoil Clearfield, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 8:24 a.m.

    I think we are far closer to the end of the era of mass air travel than we are to it's beginning. With airports as well as highways, we are dumping far too much of our money into permanent infrastucture that is dependent on a temporary resource. They will soon become giant, little used monuments to our lack of foresight.

    Jan. 18, 2012 8:24 a.m.

    To those who prefer spending to upgrade schools:

    Each school district is responsible for its own schools. Salt Lake City and its residents should not have to support every school district in the state.

    IF people really care about schools and teachers for their children, it is time to eliminate the Utah Income Tax deduction for more than 2 children.

    The state of Utah taxes liquor to assist schools, why shouldn't parents care enough about their children to pay as much to educate them as those with few or no children?

  • Colorado Reader Littleton, CO
    Jan. 18, 2012 8:22 a.m.

    Ugh, orange cones on every street, now you want to add them to the airport! One more thing to keep me fom going to Utah anymore than I have to!

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 8:09 a.m.

    I just hope they find some way to keep the terrazzo floor map in terminal 1.

  • ChadF Orem, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 8:07 a.m.

    I think the thing that people are missing here is the point that the airport needs seismic upgrades. Those don't come cheap and if the money needs to be spent why not spend it in a way that responds to the changes in aviation over the last 50 years? Also, any airplane being able to use any gate will be a big deal. This should help a lot with airport operations.

    My gripe is that the new design is re-using some of the old spokes of the airport instead of building a new parallel concourse.

  • 1conservative WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 7:28 a.m.

    Whats wrong with the current airport, besides the fact that its old and S.L. City likes to tear down "old" things?

    I've been in many airports around the country where you have to walk one-half to 1 mile to get to your gate. SLC isn't near that bad. Its also not as if our airport is the same as when it was built in the early 60's. They've NEVER STOPPED remodeling it.

    I would suspect that most travelers coming to Utah couldn't care less about the "amenities" in the airport. What they MOST LIKE I suspect is getting in and out of the airport. S.L. Airport does that.

    Its also interesting that Becker says "taxpayer dollars won't be used...."; apparentally air travelers AREN'T taxpayers.

    Too bad the airlines didn't survey their passengers to ask them if they would like to pay an extra $2.00 or so to be able to land in a shiny new airport. I think I know the answer to that one.

    S.L. City is good at tearing things down and replacing them, whether needed or not!

  • Peccatte Scituate, MA
    Jan. 18, 2012 7:25 a.m.

    What would be better in the long run is to figure out why it is so expensive already to fly into/out of SLC. I have for pleasure traveled west at least twice a year for the past 15 years with my family, and every time we check ticket prices to SLC, they are always more than $200 more than to Denver or Las Vegas. So we end up flying to those places and if we want to see family in Utah we drive over.

    Now for business I am having to fly to a convention there in Salt Lake City, and everyone I talk to is really upset about the cost of the tickets. There have been lots of folks contacting the annual convention sponsors and asking them not to hold it at SLC again. It has nothing to do with the quality of the airport, but the cost is just too high. And now the rental car prices are going to go higher? They would do better to address the reasons that many of us avoid the SLC airport in the first place.

  • Irish Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 7:17 a.m.

    I've been to's a beautiful airport and their waiting area for multiple gates are very large, more than enough room for all passengers to wait, even if the plane is full. Not so in KSLC. When I lived in Seattle, I was flying to DC and had a connection in SLC. We arrived basically on-time and sat out on the apron of the gate area and waited for a gate to open up. We waited so long I missed my connection! With the stated plan of eliminating some gates, this is a concern - this is a "hub" after all. I agree with the revamping of the security areas. Last time flying out of SLC I had to walk all the way over to the International terminal to go through security in order not to miss my flight (compounded by the line at the United check-in) because the line was so long to get through security at terminal 1, and I was there in plenty of time. Time will tell whether their plan will eliminate the bottlenecks.

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 7:00 a.m.

    Seems like priorities are WAY out of line. The current airport may not be ideal, but it is mostly functional. Our schools are much more important, but by almost any measure, are failing a large majority of our students. Yet the money will come out of the same pockets. Instead of higher taxes, we will see user fees jump. Not cool. I would rather see us beef up core subjects such as math and science, and put the airport renovation on hold for a few years.

  • M. Matchette Syracuse, Utah
    Jan. 18, 2012 6:36 a.m.

    I agree with "Hellooo"...Why now? Mr. Becker's stated reasons don't add up when you consider that air travel is actually down. I travel through the Salt Lake Airport frequently, and the halls only see light traffic from travellers. It was busier before 9/11. That's a undisputed fact. I think Mr. Becker wants to accommadate the very special requirements of the TSA. That's where the holdup in the airport builds. Instead of building an airport, get rid of the TSA...

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    Jan. 18, 2012 6:18 a.m.

    It looks like more spending without the money actually being there to fund such an expensive project. Aren't the airlines, and everything connected with them already under financial duress? Aren't most of us having financial woes without adding new fees for "more convenient" and "nicer" places to meet and to board airplanes?

  • windsor City, Ut
    Jan. 18, 2012 6:02 a.m.

    And a UTA bus from Cache Valley to link with the one in Brigham City, to link to Front Runner, to link to Trax to the Airport (or into the city).....oh please oh please.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 18, 2012 5:57 a.m.

    Re: Orem Parent | 8:38 p.m. Jan. 17, 2012
    "I do, however, wonder about all of our kids sitting in old schools that aren't anywhere near code"

    Do you also wonder about the safety of your home where children spend far more time and which isn't any safer?

  • MyChildrensKeeper Taylorsville, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 5:11 a.m.

    This is a badly timed announcement to make. With the state and country in such an economic disarray and mess it is not the time to raise taxes again and bond us for another 30 years.

    This is not a city only bond, its a state wide bond to raise taxes permanently. For some reason SLC cannot tolerate citizens and tax relief, even in a recession and looming collapse of all financial organizations in the nation. An airport is never finished and this $1.8 billion cost is a yearly average for the next 30 years of continued work in progress and maintenance and construction.

    It's time Becker put some brakes on spending and get rational and think things through before indenturing Utah citizens with more debt and taxes than we can pay from our below poverty incomes even more. Its time Becker take a break and let us recover too.

  • benjoginko Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 4:44 a.m.

    If SLC want's a truly great Airport experience they should look at Sinagpore's Changi Airport. There is no greater airport in the world. It is a dream for travlers. Good food, Shopping, places to relax, activities for kids when you have a long lay over. I've been no where that comes close.

  • ManInTheMiddle SANDY, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 3:27 a.m.

    I flew 250,000 miles last year so it's safe to say I understand airports.

    What a bunch of lies Becker is spewing. This is complete nonsense - a handout to construction companies at taxpayer expense. They claim no tax dollars will be used but what in the world do you think airport fees are? Airport/car rental fees ARE TAXES!!!! If we didn't use them to rebuild a perfectly good airport we could use them for other purposes.

    And let me get this right - you want to spend nearly $2B and in the end you'll have fewer gates???? Are you guys crazy??? The airport is awesome - it runs well - it's nice inside and out. If Utahans allow this to be built we are all idiots.


  • Hellooo Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 11:53 p.m.

    The airport has been in a constant state of rebuilding for the last decade, and a regional hub during all of this time. How can it be that all of this expansion failed to be done with plans to be a regional hub. Simply unbeiveable. And, while the money will not come directly from taxpayers, profits that are used for the purpose of rebuilding the Airport could be used by the city for other purposes. Seems Mr. Becker is being less than candid with the citizens with regard to the airport.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 11:07 p.m.

    Wasn't this supposed to happen years ago? As a hub airport, it is very inefficient.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 10:59 p.m.

    "It would be nice to have a re-designed area for farewells and homecomings. The baggage claim was never intended to be that kind of place, but 9/11 necessitated it become such. "

    You know... since my first flight wasn't until 2008 I've never known anything different than baggage claim being a meeting area and kinda forgot that it used to be different.

  • mtnight BILLINGS, MT
    Jan. 17, 2012 10:42 p.m.

    I understand the need to upgrade and welcome the changes. However, Salt Lake City will now join some other cities around the country where the fees tacked onto car rentals exceed the cost of the rental itself. Hardly a great way to greet folks coming to visit or do business.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 10:40 p.m.

    "Becker also is proposing to build a "net-positive" project, using renewable resources to produce more energy than the airport requires and feeding that surplus back into the system."

    Can solar panels from the defunct Solyndra be used to keep costs down?

    I hate to think how much this is going to trickle down to our ticket prices. I don't travel too often anymore but I have enjoyed the simplicity and convenience of our airport, even after the TSA invaded it has not been that bad.

    If we can only get the jets to run our abundance of natural gas...

  • Happy Valley Stud Provo, utah
    Jan. 17, 2012 10:36 p.m.

    How about building and bringing some air traffic to Provo airport so that us folks from down south of Salt Lake don't have to travel up north for travel...? just sayin'

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 10:26 p.m.

    How about a decent restaurant that is outside the passenger security area so you can eat a meal with your family prior to boarding?

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 10:24 p.m.

    An additional thought: Please get the departing and arriving vehiclular traffic on separate levels like most airports do now that handle a large volume of passengers.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 10:21 p.m.

    There are more reasons than just missionaries and families of missionaries to have an area where groups can greet passengers as they arrive. It seems a little cold to tell family members that haven't seen each other for two years that they have to meet elsewhere; also what about families gathering for a funeral or the joy of a solder coming back home safely?

    Hopefully a re-designed airport will have a better design for security lines for boarding passengers, too and the light rail drop off point will not require a mile walk to get to the baggage check-in area.

    Personally, I look forward to a new design.

  • trekker Salt Lake, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 9:35 p.m.

    The LDS Church has asked the farewells to be a drop off at the MTC, In fact they ask families not to meet their missionaries leaving at the Airport. I think it would be better for only Mom and Dad maybe the Bishop to pick up return missions they can have a gathering and welcome back elsewhere not the baggage area in the way of travelers.

  • washcomom Beaverton, OR
    Jan. 17, 2012 9:35 p.m.

    With the low score on the Utah schools that just came out, shouldn't there be a thought process that way first?

  • Vykarios South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 9:15 p.m.

    It would be nice to have a re-designed area for farewells and homecomings. The baggage claim was never intended to be that kind of place, but 9/11 necessitated it become such.

  • Straitpath PROVO, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 9:13 p.m.

    I dread the disruption.

    Jan. 17, 2012 8:44 p.m.

    My how time flies... it doesn't seem like that long ago that they were building that airport.

  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 8:38 p.m.

    not a bad idea.

    I do, however, wonder about all of our kids sitting in old schools that aren't anywhere near code.