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The MAC and Delta to Fund Largest-Ever Renovations at MSP Airport

The MAC and Delta will upgrade 75 gates and six concourses over the next two years

By Todd R. Berger

111.10.23 The MAC and Delta to Upgrade 75 Gates at MSP Airport
Delta Air Lines jet parked at gate at MSP || Photo by Tony Webster

In early November, the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) and Delta Air Lines launched the single largest interior renovation of concourses and passenger gate areas at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s (MSP) Terminal 1, which opened in 1962.

The $242 million Airport Modernization Program (AMP) will deliver a unified and modern design across six of the terminal’s seven concourses (A, B, C, D, F, and G) and 75 Delta gate hold rooms. The MAC is investing $182.5 million in the program; Delta is contributing $60 million. MSP is the 19th busiest airport in North America and Delta’s second-largest hub. So far this year, Delta has operated a daily peak of 332 departing flights and currently serves seven out of every 10 MSP passengers.

“We’re proud to work with and have the support of Delta to deliver an expansive interior makeover that will create an exceptional airport experience for Delta passengers as they make their way from security checkpoints to their gates,” says Brian Ryks, CEO of the MAC, in a prepared statement. “It’s another major investment to create brighter, more modern spaces that complement MSP’s award-winning customer service.”

“The Airport Modernization Project is the latest example of Delta’s ongoing work to modernize the terminal and elevate the travel experience for our MSP customers,” says Jeannine Ashworth, vice president of operations at MSP. “We are proud to partner with the MAC to establish a seamless and consistent travel experience, no matter which concourse your travels take you through.”

The AMP renovations are split over three phases. Work in concourses D and F began in late October. The renovation of Concourse C begins in February 2024. Improvements on concourses A, B, G, and the skyway bridge connecting Concourses C and G are scheduled for 2025. Delta’s gates will remain open during the construction, with the most intense construction work scheduled during overnight hours. Combined, the interior renovation covers 378,000 square feet, and will feature many of the design elements the MAC and Delta incorporated into the 2022 expansion and modernization of Concourse G between gates G17 and G22.

AMP improvements include:

  •  More accessible and durable terrazzo flooring to replace the carpet in passenger corridors in concourses A, C, D, and G, and new carpet in concourses B and F
  • New wall finishes, including quarter-height granite in public corridors and tile in Delta gate hold rooms
  •  Brighter, more modern and sustainable LED lighting in concourse walkways and gate areas
  • Metal panel ceiling system in the majority of concourse walkways
  • New structural column covers
  • Technology upgrades that include dynamic flight information screens along concourse walkways at every gate
  • Full refresh of 75 Delta gate hold rooms
  •  New gate seating with power outlets
  • New carpeting in gate areas to mirror experience at other Delta hub airports
  • Updated gate information display screens
  • Refreshed Delta branding across all gate areas

By the time the concourse renovations are completed, the MAC will have invested more than $1 billion in a series of high-profile projects over the course of a decade to transform Terminal 1, from curb to gate.

The first project started in 2016 and is anticipated to be completed in 2025. The $525 million Terminal 1 Operational Improvements program expanded the terminal by 30,000 square feet, redesigned the entire ticketing and baggage levels (including new baggage carousels), consolidated checkpoints, and improved passenger movements with central elevators and escalators. The program is now in its final phase, with work remaining on new ticket counters and baggage systems on the north end of the building.

The second major project was the $80 million expansion phase of Concourse G in 2022, which also created space for a third Delta Sky Club at MSP.

Continuing the work on Concourse G, preliminary foundation and utility work began this year on the second phase of the expansion, which begins in earnest in 2024. It includes $330 million in renovations, including doubling the seating capacity of gates G8 through G13, and the addition of two new sets of restrooms, a public sensory room, and additional space for concessions.

Lastly, the MAC is investing $6.5 million in 2024 to help Delta optimize its operations by reconfiguring gate and ramp space in concourses B and C to serve larger aircraft.

MSP has been named the Best Airport in North America (large hub) by Airports Council International for six out of the last seven years. So far in 2023, MSP has handled a peak of 473 daily departures to 156 domestic and international destinations.