Denver International Airport (DEN) has started work on a $1.5bn expansion project that will significantly expand its capacity with the aim of easing congestion at the airport.

As part of the Gate Expansion Project, a total of 39 new gates will be added at the airport by 2021, an increase in gate capacity of 30%. Four gates on B-West will become operational by 2020.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said: “The airport has experienced a tremendous increase in passengers, setting yet another record over the past year with more than 61 million passengers.

“Today, the airport’s success is outgrowing the building and the enhanced capacity that comes with these new gates will allow for more flights, more destinations and more options for those travelling to and from Denver, all of which keeps Colorado’s economy strong.”

“The airport’s success is outgrowing the building and the enhanced capacity that comes with these new gates will allow for more flights, more destinations and more options for those travelling to and from Denver.”

The new gates will be added at the end of each concourse, enabling all airlines at the airport to grow and for DEN to accommodate new airlines, including international carriers.

Out of the 39 gates, 12 gates will installed at A-West, four gates at B-West, seven narrow-body gates at B-East and 16 gates at C- East.

Denver International Airport CEO Kim Day said: “The new gates are one of several major projects in our $3.5bn five-year capital improvement programme that will prepare DEN for the future.

“We will not only increase capacity, but we will add more passenger amenities including food and shopping, charging stations and even outdoor space where you can enjoy Colorado’s beautiful weather and scenery.”

The Gate Expansion Project is being managed by two joint-ventures, including Holder Construction and FCI Constructors on Concourse B-East and Concourse C-East, while Turner Construction and Flatiron Construction will manage Concourse A-West and Concourse B-West.

HNTB and Jacobs Engineering Group were appointed to provide architectural and design services for the project.

As part of a separate, $1.8bn public-private partnership terminal renovation deal, Great Hall Partners will work to revamp ticketing areas, install move security screening to the upper level and construct new main-floor concession spaces starting in late June or July.