MIAMI — Last week, the CEO of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Sean Donohue, told the Dallas Business Journal that DFW may get even bigger.
Last month, Donohue spoke at the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Dallas Love Field. After just a few months of being the CEO of the world’s fourth-busiest airport, this was one of his first chances to talk to the public about his goals and plans for the airport.
His plans call for several terminal improvements, a possible Terminal F, improvement to checkpoints and customs lines, and to grow DFW’s international destinations. Also, he plans to re-build the existing parking garages and incorporate new technology to make it easier for travelers to find empty parking spaces. Later this year, Dallas Area Rapid Transit will connect DFW when they open a train station on the north end of the airport that connects to the Orange Line in September.
“A terminal F will likely be in our future,” Donohue said. “Given even the most conservative gross estimates, we foresee the airport serving almost 70 million customers annually by the end of the decade from the 60 million we serve today.”
At the moment, Donohue does not have any concrete plans or a timeline.
Last week, Southwest Airlines announced a large expansion plan for Dallas Love Field that will allow them to fly anywhere they want from Love Field starting at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 13, 2014 when the Wright Amendment is lifted. Many have questioned how this will effect DFW.
Donohue says he is not worried about the Wright Amendment being lifted. “Are American and Southwest going to compete like hell? Sure they will,” Donohue said. “But they’ve been doing that for decades all over the country. When the restrictions come off and Southwest can fly anywhere they want domestically out of Love Field, it’s just going to be good for the consumer of this region.”
He is also focused on growing the number of international destinations that are served from DFW. In fact, DFW has added 20 new international destinations in the past three years, and they now reach 58 destinations on five continents.
Later this year, Qatar will begin new nonstop service to Doha. Plus, American Airlines will launch new nonstop service to Hong Kong and Shanghai, China, and Etihad will begin nonstop service to the United Arab Emirates.