Since Since 2016, InterVISTAS has assisted Denver International Airport (DEN) with on-call aviation consulting services and airport planning. The scope of work includes aviation studies related to all functional areas of the airport. Below we have highlighted four planning assignments for the Denver International Airport led by InterVISTAS.
Passenger Holdroom Guidelines
DEN is in the process of planning and designing four concourse expansions, totaling 39 new gates, making it the largest expansion since the Airport opened. InterVISTAS was tasked with developing passenger holdroom guidelines to inform both the design of the concourse extensions as well as the modernization of the existing holdrooms, which currently feature traditional linear seating and large outdated airline service desks.
The goal of this strategic study was to develop consensus for guidelines amongst a group of internal and external stakeholders that reflected innovations at other airports throughout the world and provided the ability to adapt to future changes. InterVISTAS identified key emerging trends, conducted stakeholder interviews, and developed a holdroom sizing calculator that ensured flexibility in design.
Through this engagement, InterVISTAS staff coordinated with both innovation teams from United and Southwest airlines, terminal architects, concessions planners, in-house DEN planners and operational staff .The resulting guidelines specify the percentage of passengers to be accommodated in the passenger holdroom, versus elsewhere on the concourse, which in turn informed the concessions master plan. Further the guidelines specify that the holdrooms should provide multiple types of furniture tailored to passengers traveling for different purposes. Finally, the guidelines provided DEN management with space set aside for the future of the passenger boarding process, whether it be highly automated or conducted by “roving” customer service agents.
Aviation demand forecasts and gate modeling
InterVISTAS prepared comprehensive aviation demand forecasts for the airport, including multiple future demand scenarios, as well as design day flight schedules to inform several different subsequent studies. The forecasts looked out to 2045 and were informed by discussions with the major airlines operating at the airport, as well as the insights of our Air Service Development experts. Using the future design day flight schedules, InterVISTAS prepared a gate model of the airports three concourses in both their existing and future configuration to inform plans beyond the 39-gate expansion program. The gate modeling was helpful to DEN to understand the impact of future gating scenarios on the train system serving the concourses.
Great Hall Design Reviews and Concept Evaluation
As part of the Great Hall redevelopment, InterVISTAS staff assisted DEN with development and evaluation of terminal ticketing lobby and passenger security screening checkpoint redevelopment alternatives, cognizant of emerging technologies and processes. These alternatives sought to maximize terminal processing capacity while ensuring a smooth and intuitive passenger flow.
Strategic Facility Plan for CBP Federal Inspection Services
DEN is experiencing rapid growth of international air service, but the design and fl ow of the international arrival facility dates back to design standards that are no longer current. InterVISTAS is currently working with DEN to develop a strategic facility plan that incorporates new innovations and enhancements to the international arrivals process, which will allow it to meet growth and facilitate improved passenger experiences.
Trends in Passenger Holdrooms
Passenger holdrooms are evolving from an airport, airline, and passenger perspective.Gone are the days of traditional sterile linear seating, large airline service desks, and passengers huddled around columns fighting for electrical outlet space. Passengers are spending more time than ever in holdrooms as this is the one place where they feel comfortable knowing they will make their flight. In addition, aircraft are getting denser,airlines are changing their boarding procedures and service desk operations, and different types of furniture are being introduced to reflect a diverse passenger population. These changes all have a significant impact on the planning and design of passenger holdrooms. At Indianapolis, the average number of seats per aircraft has increased from 103 in 2015 to 110 in 2019, an increase of over 6%. InterVISTAS has been tracking these trends and has been designing flexible holdrooms to accommodate these changes for its clients.
The alternatives include radical changes to the passenger processing methods which may delay or even eliminate the need to physically expand the facilities, despite anticipated growth. We are able to leverage our relationships with CBP staff to inform the future plans such that they are both cognizant of future technologies and reflect the quirks and specific requirements of CBP staff with sometimes divergent viewpoints.