By Steve Harrison
As part of a massive $700 million rebuilding and renovation, Charlotte Douglas International Airport unveiled this week new amenities planned for passengers, including revamped restaurants, new public art and new seats with their own cellphone chargers.
The airport said the renovations and expansion can help the airport grow for three or four decades. The cost will mostly be paid by passengers through fees – not Charlotte taxpayers.
▪ One of the biggests CLT projects is a new nine-gate concourse under construction just north of Concourse A. The new gates will house carriers other than American Airlines, and are being built in a modern, spacious style with 30-foot high ceilings. That’s more spacious than concourses A, B and C, which have 12-foot high ceilings.
“For a domestic concourse this is a different type of space,” said Jack Christine, the deputy aviation director. “It’s similar to the international concourse.”
Airport officials unveiled Monday the new public art for the concourse, by Turkish digital artist Refik Anadol. The airport said it’s one of the largest “data sculptures” in the world and will be displayed on several LED screens.
“This is like a big display that you might see in Times Square,” said Haley Gentry, the airport’s Deputy Aviation Director/Chief Business and Information Officer.
It will run alongside the walkway that connects the new concourse to the main terminal. It’s meant for passengers inside but will be visible to cars approaching the terminal through windows.
The concourse is scheduled to open in May. When it’s done and carriers like Delta, United and Southwest move there, American Airlines is expected to back-fill most of the 12 gates in the old section of Concourse A.