About 8 miles west of downtown, the Salt Lake City airport experienced rapid growth in 1984 when Western Airlines relocated its operational hub there from the then overcrowded Denver Stapleton Airport. Salt Lake City’s airport continued to grow as a hub after Western’s merger with Delta in 1987. Delta now accounts for more than 60% of the airport’s total passengers and about 60% of those passengers are making connections. For those not making connections, the airport is about 15 minutes drive time from downtown Salt Lake City.
Salt Lake City International Airport has begun a phased-opening of a new $4.1 billion passenger terminal complex being constructed over what is essentially the same footprint as the previous terminal. The new facilities feature a single centralized terminal for all airlines with two linear concourses replacing what was two separate terminal buildings with seven concourses radiating out from them.
Key dates for the opening:
Demolition will begin in November on all of the old terminal facilities and concourses to make way for the second phase of construction which will add 22 gates to A concourse and 11 gates to the B concourse.
Originally planned to be completed in 2024, airport officials are using the reduced passenger demand caused by COVID-19 to finish the project as much as two years earlier and, in the process, save $300 million in construction costs.
Ground transportation choices at SLC include taxis, shuttles, limousines and app-based ride services. Except for app-based rides, fares from the airport to points within the Salt Lake City limits are capped at no more than $25 to the 500 east block and $30 east of that. An additional $5 per passenger can be charged for more than two passengers. Public transportation is available on the Utah Transit Authority’s TRAX light rail but the airport station is closed for construction until July 2021. A temporary shuttle from the lower level of the terminal takes passengers to the 1940 West North Temple station. The TRAX Green Line operates at 15-minute intervals on weekdays and 30-minute intervals on weekends with a scheduled travel time to downtown of about 15 minutes and to the Central Pointe station is 30 minutes. UTA says riders should plan on an extra 15-30 minutes to use the shuttle.
Delta Air Lines flights arrive and depart SLC at the A gates on the new south concourse that opened September 15, 2020, as well as the C and F gates on the old concourses. Connecting passengers can reach all other airline gates on all concourses without exiting the TSA secure area.
Between the Rocky Mountains and the Great Basin, the Salt Lake Valley is a destination for outdoor activities, especially winter skiing. It is also home to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Visit Salt Lake has a travel planner here.
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