NBC 5 Exclusive: Inside DFW Airport's Terminal Facelift

Aging Terminal A is the first to undergo the transformation

By Scott Friedman
|  Friday, Feb 3, 2012  |  Updated 10:18 PM CDT
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NBC 5's Scott Friedman takes you behind the scene of the massive construction project to modernize DFW Airport's aging terminals.

Scott Friedman, NBC 5 News

NBC 5's Scott Friedman takes you behind the scene of the massive construction project to modernize DFW Airport's aging terminals.

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If you've been to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, you've probably noticed the massive construction project underway at Terminal A.

NBC 5 got exclusive access behind the scenes.  We also got a glimpse of the improvements we'll see when it's all done.

The old noisy gray tile floors are on the way out, they're being replaced with smooth terrazzo.

The ceilings will be lifted up and the old brown concrete walls covered with shiny new panels and glass.

The windows will be bigger with more lounge space where passengers can kick back on sleek new chairs.

Airport officials quietly unveiled some of the changes at two gates inside Terminal A recently.  It's a little hint of what the building will look like when it's finished.  

"And the aesthetics are great. And if you got a place to stretch out," said airport passenger Gordon Pennington."And I notice the seating is very ergonomically sensitive and allows you to really relax while you're getting things done."

Behind a temporary wall at the north end of Terminal A, the entire building has been stripped down to bare bones as the massive project moves ahead.  Eventually all four of oldest terminals , A,B,C and E should look more like Terminal D, the airport's newest.

"We're using every opportunity we can to create as much of an atmosphere as we can for our public and to try to open up these spaces," said Perfecto Solis, the vice president of airport development and engineering.

There will be more restaurants in more convenient spots, and even the security checkpoints will be picked up and moved out of the walkways.

"What we're going to do now is we're going to turn them 90 degrees, so the actual TSA checkpoints are now going to be flowing with the passenger flow, so much more efficient, much more use of the space," said Karl Joeris with Balfour Beatty Construction.

Not only does the airport get a high-tech look, the building process itself went high-tech.

Before anything gets built at DFW Airport, a team of engineers builds it in a virtual world. They load all of the blue prints onto iPads, which cuts more than a million dollars in printing costs.

The renovations to Terminal A should be complete by this fall. The entire project, renovating terminals, A,B,C and E, is expected to last seven years.

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