Salt Lake City opens first part of $4B renovated airport

Passengers walk through the new terminal at the Salt Lake City International Airport Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in Salt Lake City. Salt Lake City's renovated airport welcomed its first passengers at a new concourse that is part of the first phase of a $4.1 billion project. A second concourse is set to open in October and the rest of the rest of the new airport is scheduled to be completed by 2024. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Salt Lake City’s renovated airport welcomed its first passengers Tuesday at a new concourse that is part of the first phase of a $4.1 billion project.

A plane leaving for Atlanta received a water cannon salute on the tarmac and city, airport and airline officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony inside to celebrate the work accomplished over the first six years of construction.

A second concourse is set to open in October and the rest of the rest of the new airport is scheduled to be completed by 2024.

Construction crews have been building the new airport next to the existing airport in the phased project being financed through airline and airport fees and grants and bonds. No taxpayer money has been used, officials said.

The newly opened part of the airport includes a larger parking garage, a security screening area with technology that is expected to allow passengers to move quick through the lines and a host of modern conveniences including waiting areas with more outlets to plug in phones and tablets.

Several large artworks adorn the concourse, including a corridor with sculpted walls resembling one of southern Utah’s well-known red rock slot canyons.

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