Favorite Airports: DIA

Denver International Airport, that big airport in the middle of nowhere with the white fabric roof.  To symbolize Denver’s status as the Mile High City, up in the mountains of Colorado.  In fact, it’s the largest airport in the United States in terms of land area including runways, tarmacs, hangars, and other open space.  It’s even larger than DFW, another favorite airport of mine.

The main terminal area, called the Jeppesen Terminal, is the highlight of the airport, but it’s enough for me to give it points in my book.  The all-white fabric cable-suspended roof mimics the Rocky Mountains as planes take-off and land at one of the airport’s 6 runways, 4 of which run north-south.  If your flight is one of the fortunate flights to land on the two eastern runways, you can get a glimpse of the roof with the Rockies as a backdrop, especially during the spring when, though Denver will be relatively warm, the Rockies will still have had enough precipitation and cold enough temperatures to cap the mountains with snow.  If you happen to land on the other runways, no problem, as long as you catch the view of the Rockies on the approach to any of the runways.  You might also catch the Downtown Denver skyline with the Rockies as a backdrop, depending on the flight pattern or holding pattern should there be delays.  Once you land, you will be taxiing for quite some time, since DIA has one of the longest runways of any airport in the country, in an airport with 25,000 acres of land in the middle of nowhere.  If I had a criticism, the distance from civilization is crazy enough that, aside from all of the aircraft noise, if you screamed at the top of your lungs and jumped up and down in the middle of the field, no one would see or hear you.  It was placed here to mitigate noise in future and current residential neighborhoods in the immediate suburbs of Denver.  Nevertheless, DIA is fun to travel to.

Even though Denver’s Airport is just one huge terminal with access to its three concourses via shuttle, it is the gateway to the Rockies and the Front Range.  Simplistic in design and highly functional, Denver is a relatively simple airport to navigate…and it’s easy to get to as well.  Denver RTD has their Skyride network of bus routes which are really Regional routes that serve DIA from various parts of the region.  The Skyride routes serve Denver (AF), Boulder (AB and ABA), Stapleton (AT), Aurora (AT), and Thornton (AA).  Commuter Rail is coming in 2016 to replace the AF route.

More coming soon…let’s go international, shall we?

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