HNTB-designed Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport terminal opens for media preview

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The new terminal serves a greater volume of passengers, offers increased efficiency and aesthetic value, and bolsters security; the first flight is expected May 20.

This terminal is a momentous landmark for Wichita and its Airport Authority, and reflects the city’s intrinsic fervor for the aviation industry

The new Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport terminal, designed by HNTB Corporation in association with GLMV Architecture, opened today for media to preview. The new terminal’s first flight is expected in late May 2015.

The 275,000-square-foot terminal will feature nine gates on opening day, and a new, in-line system for processing checked baggage. Three more gates will open later in 2016 when parts of the previous terminal are removed. Formerly known as Wichita Mid-Continent Airport, it was officially renamed in January of this year.

The terminal includes two floors and can handle 2 million passengers per year. The first floor accommodates arriving and departing passengers, ticketing, cafe, baggage claim, and airline and operations support. The second floor includes exhibit space, security, retail, food venues, and departure and arrival gates.

“This terminal is a momentous landmark for Wichita and its Airport Authority, and reflects the city’s intrinsic fervor for the aviation industry,” said Laddie Irion, HNTB’s national aviation market sector leader. “Its design is an impressive combination of form and function that can effectively serve a high volume of passenger traffic while being adaptable to the city’s future air-travel needs.”

The new flexible gate system accommodates a wide range of aircraft and incorporates the largest installation of glass passenger boarding bridges in the country. Sustainable elements were incorporated into the terminal design to provide an inviting environment that will operate efficiently and be adaptable to future technological advancements. New elements also include improvements to entrance roadways and parking.

To protect against road-based safety threats, the terminal design incorporated concrete planters near the entrance to prevent vehicles from driving into the terminal. Additionally, the terminal has twice the screening space as its predecessor, enabling a more efficient configuration for the queuing of departing passengers entering the screening checkpoint.

Another key component of the new terminal is a series of special exhibits highlighting Wichita’s rich aviation heritage as the “Air Capital of the World,” where more aircraft have been built than anywhere else in the world. Such aircraft manufacturers include Beechcraft, Cessna, Learjet, Airbus and others.

“The building’s design reflects the rich history and bright future of aviation in Wichita,” said Philip Hannon, HNTB senior project manager. “The roof’s shape is designed to remind visitors of flight by capturing the appearance of an aircraft’s wing. Other elements of the design also reinforce this theme, including large, naturally lit passenger spaces and skylights that provide a window to the sky.”

HNTB was recently ranked as the No. 1 airport design firm in Roads & Bridges magazine’s 2014 Go-To List, as preferred by the publication’s readers. The firm’s many signature aviation projects include design of the “Green Build” expansion at San Diego International Airport; engineering and design services at Los Angeles World Airports; and design of the new iconic FAA control tower at San Francisco International Airport.

About HNTB
HNTB Corporation is an employee-owned infrastructure firm serving public and private owners and contractors. With more than a century of service in the United States, HNTB understands the life cycle of infrastructure and addresses clients’ most complex technical, financial and operational challenges. Professionals nationwide deliver a full range of infrastructure-related services, including award-winning planning, design, program management and construction management. For more information, visit

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