Entering the Portland International Airport terminal, things will look a little different.
Some things are immediately noticeable, namely the disappearance of the Oregon market and the hallway behind the counters that led to the airport security zones. Instead, there is a wall with two giant panels pointing the passengers in doors B and C to the left and the passengers in doors D and E to the right.
The changes are part of the multi-year PDX Next airport remodel. The $ 2 billion project will expand the terminal, install a new 392,000 square foot curved roof and upgrade areas of the airport due to be put in place in the 2020s.
“Our terminal, even though people pass through it as easily as a single building, was actually a series of seven buildings assembled over the years from the 1950s onwards,” says Kama Simonds, media relations manager at the airport. aviation at Portland International Airport.
With all the changes, Simonds recommends that travelers get to the airport at least two hours in advance.
As in all older buildings, there were a few things that needed to be tidied up.
“The project has grown a little bigger and a little bigger in a really appropriate way, so the end result will be a terminal ready to handle passengers, traffic and volume through 2035 and beyond,” said Simonds .
Before construction began, a connector connected the two sides of the airport. It’s gone now. It was cut in half and reused to create the bypasses. Construction takes place where the hall connector was located.
The connector won’t come back until the end of the project in 2024, so travelers will have to get used to not being able to get from one side of the airport to the other.
The newly opened Lobby B, primarily used by local Alaska and Horizon flights, now features floor-to-ceiling windows, artwork, seating and dining, including Good Coffee and Screen Door, which will open in the spring next.
“It’s really beautiful,” says Simonds, adding that the lobby was once a dark, crowded place with low ceilings. “It was not a pleasant experience, especially compared to the rest of the airport.
“There’s a ton of research that looks at what makes people happy when they walk through an airport,” she says. “When you start designing new spaces and new facilities, you take that into account a lot. “
Many travelers feel stressed when they fly. Some are afraid to fly, while others see it as a problem. Concerns about the coronavirus added to this.
“Music helps, artwork helps, lots of natural light helps. Places where you can just sit down when you’re feeling stressed helps, ”says Simonds. “At the end of the day, if you don’t like flying from here, you’ll go elsewhere. And that’s not good for airlines or businesses here or the airport.
Simonds says travelers should check out the airport’s website, FlyPDX.com, to see if their favorite restaurants will be open and accessible at their doorstep.
“Nobody wants cranky hunger pangs on vacation.”