Around 35 Of 155 Available Gates Unused
It appears airlines aren't the only ones forced to tighten their
belts to deal with high fuel prices.
The Fort Worth Star Telegram quotes officials at Dallas/Fort
Worth Airport in reporting one of the airport's terminals may be
closed in response to an anticipated decline of seven percent in
airline traffic there.
Airport officials are budgeting for fiscal 2009, which begins in
October, and American Airlines -- which operates a hub at D/FW and
accounts for 80 percent of the airport's commercial traffic --
plans to cut 42 flights starting in September. The paper reports
airline cutbacks will reduce airport revenue by $23 million, at the
same time costs are expected to rise $24 million.
Airport Chief Executive Jeff Fegan told his board Tuesday to
consider pulling $10 million earmarked for capital improvements
into the operations account, increasing landing fees, and possibly
even closing a terminal.
Officials say 35-40 of DFW's 155 gates are currently unused.
They're scattered around the airport's terminals, and include nine
gates located at a satellite location off Terminal E that's gone
unused since Delta pulled its hub out of DFW in 2004.
Currently, American dominates Terminals A and C, while American
Eagle splits Terminal B with United. A hodgepodge of remaining
carriers -- including Frontier, Delta and AirTran -- use gates in
Two years ago, DFW invested heavily in a new International
terminal. Today, foreign carriers use about two-thirds of the 28
available gates at Terminal D; American has moved some domestic
flights to the impressive new terminal to fill out the space.
If operations were consolidated to allow closing one whole
terminal, airport CFO Chris Poinsatte estimates it could save up to
$21 million. Among the resulting issues would be negotiating the
changes with the airlines, and dealing with vendors who leased
retail space at the terminal to be shut down.
The airport board is scheduled to consider the budget at a
meeting Thursday night.