Building for the Future


To accommodate growing demand for services, Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) continually emphasizes development, construction and expansion to maintain and enhance the Airport's ability to serve this region.

In the past three decades alone, the Airport has invested more than $300 million in new and expanded facilities, including the passenger terminal, cargo facilities and airfield.

Charlotte’s passenger terminal now encompasses 1.8 million square feet, with 100,000 square feet under currently under construction. A 325,000-square-foot terminal, the basis for today’s terminal, was opened in 1982 and expanded by 194,000-square-feet with a food court and shopping atrium in 1994. Public parking for passengers has been expanded to provide more than 26,000 spaces.

Based on tenants’ growing needs and the recommendations in the 1987 Airport Master Plan and the 1992 Cargo Master Plan, Charlotte Douglas International Airport made extensive changes at the Charlotte Air Cargo Center. Since 1993, the Airport has built new and expanded facilities for Burlington Air Express, Airborne Express, Emery Worldwide, United Parcel Service and United Worldwide Cargo.

To enhance corporate aviation facilities, in 1995 CLT built three new hangars, adding more than 93,000 square feet to the general aviation area. General aviation customer parking has been expanded. And a taxiway was extended to provide access to this portion of the airfield.
Significant airfield improvements completed in 1996 have helped make the Airport more efficient for its tenant airlines. These improvements included a new reliever taxiway that was recommended for enhancing capacity. The taxiway required expansion of nearby ramp areas; this, in turn, began the process for a future 11-gate expansion of Concourse B.  

Charlotte Douglas International Airport must continue its expansion and improvement program to maintain its position as one of the nation’s leading airports. One need that was recently addressed related to runway capacity. Until 2010, CLT was using three runways with a maximum length of 10,000 feet, but research recommended a fourth, 9,000-foot runway be installed to provide additional capacity, strengthen hub operations and reduce flight delays and airlines’ operating costs. In February 2010, the fourth runway was commissioned and opened for use.

The growth of CLT and of the Charlotte Region is closely connected. The Airport not only links Charlotte with markets in the United States and around the world – an important factor in today’s global economy – but it also contributes nearly $10 billion each year in total economic impact.

With the continued improvement and expansion of CLT, this region can enjoy even greater economic impact in the future, which will benefit residents and businesses alike.

For more information regarding the Airport’s economic impact, contact the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce or the Charlotte Regional Partnership.
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