A ribbon cutting ceremony has marked the completion of 16 new gates on Concourse C at Denver International Airport (DEN).

The new gates are being leased by Southwest Airlines and will allow the airline to continue growing its operations at DEN. In addition to the gates, the 530,000ft2 expansion area includes 20 holdrooms and additional airline support areas. It is the largest space commissioned by DEN since the Westin Hotel and Transit Center in 2015.

Passenger amenities include an outdoor patio, comfortable seating options, charging stations, new restrooms, nursing rooms and pet relief areas. There is also space for eight new shopping and dining options that will open in 2023, among them Aviano Coffee, Bar Dough and Marcyzk Fine Foods.

“The Gate Expansion Program is just one way we are growing our infrastructure to ensure we are prepared for 100 million passengers in the next eight to ten years,” said DEN CEO Phil Washington. “These new gates will not only allow one of our largest carriers to expand at DEN but provide our passengers with more options and an improved experience.”

Southwest Airlines is expected to begin operating out of the new gates in late May or early June. Two of the gates will remain closed until October to allow alignment and tie in with existing gates and new holdroom construction.

“With the opening of the gates, we continue partnering with DEN to design and build larger and modern facilities to support our long-term vision in Colorado, which includes our recently opened maintenance hangar complex, buildings for our provisioning, cargo, and ground support teams, and a larger people department to support our robust recruiting efforts,” said Steve Sisneros, vice president of airport affairs at Southwest Airlines.

These 16 new gates are part of a wider Gate Expansion Program which will see the construction of 39 gates across all three DEN concourses, increasing gate capacity by 30% and improving the passenger experience by adding new amenities, including three outdoor decks.