The early 2000’s saw significant
developments and upgrades to the footprint of the Philadelphia International
Airport. The opening of two new terminals nearly doubled the size of the
Airport complex from 1.4 million to 2.4 million square feet. Unprecedented
demand for air travel, spurred by low-fare competition, in this decade steadily
increased passenger traffic to 30.7
million in 2009.
In 2001, the Airport ushered in a new era of regional airline service with the
opening of Terminal
F. The $100 million, 185,000 square-foot terminal offers 3 concourses and 38
gates for regional aircraft, and was designed to accommodate 6 million
passengers a year with a host of modern amenities. Terminal F was one of the
first facilities in the country to use special jet bridges allowing passengers
to transition directly from the terminal to commuter aircraft. The project also
included construction of a new ramp control tower and a 3,400-space parking
In 2002, PHL opened a $17
million, 11-story ramp control
tower. Situated between Terminals A-East and B, the 7,000 square foot tower
features positions for 21 airline ramp controllers, office space and a center
to manage airfield operations. Extending 207 feet above the ground, the tower
offers improved sightlines and modern technology to enhance the flow of
A $20 million expansion of
Concourse D and the Terminal D baggage claim was completed in 2003, which
included the addition of four new gates, an expanded baggage claim facility,
and new concession space.
Also in 2003, PHL celebrated the
opening of its new International Terminal A-West. The
$550 million, 800,000 square foot terminal is spread over four levels connected
to Terminal A-East. Combined with A-East, the complex accommodates nearly 4
million international passengers annually. It features 13 international boarding
gates, more than 50 Bureau of Customs and Immigration inspection positions, 8
high-speed baggage carousels, 60 ticket counter positions, and a uniquely
designed Arrivals Hall dominated by an atrium and stunning artwork conveying
Philadelphia's identity as America's birthplace.
PHL added several state-of-the
art facilities, including a $53 million deicing facility located on 35 acres at
the western border of the Airport and a high-tech Aircraft Fire Fighting
Training Center, located on the southern boundary of the Airport.
In 2008, an all-new Terminal D/E Connector
opened, featuring a combined 14-lane security checkpoint equipped with
state-of-the-art X-ray screening technology, a dozen new food/beverage and
retail shops, and permanent artwork.
In 2009, the $70 million Runway 17-35 project
was dedicated, which extended the north-south runway by 1,040 feet to 6,540
feet. The added surface will enable larger jets that account for 75 percent of
aircraft operations at PHL to use the runway, thereby alleviating congestion
and delays on the Airport's two major runways.
During this decade, PHL broke
into the global top 10 busiest airport
rankings with 535,666 aircraft operations in 2009.