Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport is moving forward with plans to build a sixth terminal after the pandemic left the project on hold.
DFW airport officials told investors that it submitted a $27.8 million capital spending request to cover the design costs of the much-anticipated construction of Terminal F, according to documents from bond issuance.
“DFW Airport is committed to informing our investors of potential capital projects as it would have a material impact on the airport’s debt outlook,” said Francisco Rodriguez, a spokesperson for DFW International.
“We have not received airline funding approval for Terminal F,” Rodriguez said, but they plan to continue discussions with the airlines regarding the long-planned terminal.
When Terminal F was proposed in May 2019, the project’s estimated cost exceeded $3 billion. However, in April of 2020, Sean Donohue, CEO of DFW International Airport, said the project would need to be “revisited” at a later time.
Information on the project is limited, but the terminal is expected to be located south of Terminal D and add around 25 gates, according to project details.
The $27.8 million capital spending request comes at a time of significant travel demand for the industry and airfare rises. With demand for air travel at DFW International exceeding pre-pandemic passenger traffic totals in April, May, and June, airport officials felt confident to move forward with the new terminal.
Seventy-eight million passengers are expected to travel out of DFW International in 2023, a 9.5% increase based on current-year estimates, according to airport officials.
The project will also be bolstered thanks to the airport’s $1.2 billion operating budget for the 2023 fiscal year, approved earlier this month.
Spending from a joint capital account between the airlines and DFW Airport can be used on Terminal F based on approval from officials for both parties. However, the airport is currently behind on long-term use agreement negotiations involving 28 passenger and 29 freight airlines. Month-by-month agreements will continue until all parties reach a long-term arrangement.
Chris Poinsatte, chief financial officer at DFW International Airport, said it plans to impose a rate increase on the airlines in January 2023. The airport will consider some rate relief if “we get to the negotiating table and finish our use agreement negotiations,” Poinsatte said to the DFW Airport board.