Five things I learned about Denver International Airport at The Future Of Metro Mobility Conference

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Denver International Airport's iconic pitched roof. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)  dia; denver international airport; aerotropolis; denver; denverite; colorado; kevinjbeaty

Denver International Airport's iconic pitched roof. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Back in the day, airports were just a place to catch planes and maybe a hot dog, Denver International Airport CEO Kim Day told attendees of the Thursday’s The Future of Metro Mobility conference. Now it’s all about phones — including how to use them to track passengers.

A few interesting tidbits from the event:

1. If you use your phone’s bluetooth in the security line, DIA uses that signal to track your wait time.

It’s one of the “surprising” ways that people might not expect the airport to be using technology, Day said.

2. The airport is adding 10,000 power outlets to accommodate the changing needs of passengers.

“Your phone has changed the way that you as a passenger use our airport. Ticket counters are almost obsolete,” Day said.

3. Similarly, the airport spent $3 million to upgrade its wireless internet to 150 megabits per second.

“Wifi quality is the number one thing that you’ve requested … Last year, [we spent] $3 million to upgrade the quality of our wifi.”

4. Paris is the airport’s most underserved destination.

“We’re also courting connections that have strong community and business markets interested in Denver, such as Dubai, Monterrey and Paris,” said Day. “Paris is our No. 1 underserved destination.”

Anna.aero agreed recently, calling it their unserved route of the week. But the airline analysis network says that more Denver-Paris traffic starts in France, “a 70/30 split.” Not for the skiing apparently either — searches max out in October.

5. By 2020, DIA needs 20 more gates.

“Our growth challenges today are gates,” said Day. “We have much stronger requests for gates than we have available.”