When you think of the ten best airports in the United States, does Salt Lake come to mind? If it doesn’t, think again. USA Today ranked Salt Lake City International Airport as one of the ten best largest airports in the US, and the awards don’t stop there. In 2020 SLC International underwent a total rehaul, demolishing the old airport and adding a brand new state-of-the-art airport in its place. The airport is not only elegant and modern, but also has received a slew of awards, including but not limited to:

  • Ranked #1 in North America for on time performance.
  • One of America’s most reliable large airports.
  • Recognized for its sustainability efforts and design.

What many locals don’t understand is that we’re only in phase two of this four phase renovation (starting phase three in 2024). The airport will see a host of new improvements and upgrades all the way through 2027. So, what exactly has been finished and what is to come? What are some of the advantages and improvements? We’re here to break it down for you.

What has been finished?

Phase 2

All gates in Concourse A are currently open! Previously, as you walked toward the massive windows after security, all the gates were to your left hand side. Now, Concourse A East is open and allows travelers to turn right, opening up over twenty more gates. This is a huge improvement that took place in 2023 and added not only many more gates closer to the security entrance, but also a bunch of new food and retail vendors, including locally-owned businesses like Red Rock Brewing, Millcreek Coffee Roasters, Rockwell’s Ice Cream, Blue Iguana, and more. 

Additional Concessions in Concourse A

Not only did the east concourse open up more concessions, but more have come to the west side as well, including these Utah favorites: Vessel Kitchen, Utah Jazz Pro Shop, SLC Public Market, and Wow Bao—just to name a few.

What is to come? 

The Central Tunnel to Concourse B

Many locals are awaiting the highly anticipated Central Tunnel, which will give a much quicker access to Concourse B. Rather than walking down Concourse A to get across to the other concourse, travelers will be able to access a tunnel right at the entrance of the airport. It will have “The River Tunnel” art installation by artist Gordon Huether, and will be a “cool” new entrance to Concourse B. See picture below of crews preparing for Terrazzo flooring installation in the tunnel that is currently underway.

Northern Lights art installation

Another by the airport’s awarded artist, Gordon Huether, this will be a gorgeous large-scale art installation that will be located at the entrance to Concourse B. After heading through The River Tunnel, you’ll be greeted by this spectacular multi-color piece. 

Phase 3 Concessions

Everyone loves some food and beverage, and what’s more exciting than tons of new ones coming to the new SLC airport. Expect vendors like Cotopaxi, Sunday’s Best, Maggiano’s Little Italy, Bambuza, and more. 

Phase 4

This last phase will consist of 317,000 square feet across three levels. This will include sixteen more gates, more concessions (approximately 39,500 square feet of food and retail space), and an exciting 3rd level lounge area with an outdoor deck. 

What are some of the highlights? 

There is nothing short of impressive when it comes to this sleek, fresh new airport design.

Amazing Artwork

One huge highlight is the grandiose, eye-catching art installations. All of the installations, designed by Gordon Huether, incorporate architecturally integrated artwork representing the natural beauty of Utah’s unique and varied landscape, with sculptures like “The Falls”, the 80-foot tall escalator glass piece, or “The Canyon” walls spanning roughly the length of a football field, or 362 feet. 

Sustainability Focus

One of the most excellent highlights is this massive building's top-notch sustainability efforts. Recognized by Airports Going Green, this new airport has been setting the benchmark for environmentally responsible airports, with things like:

  • Efficient light rail connection to downtown with UTA.
  • Diverting more than 95% of construction waste from the landfill.
  • Daylight optimizing designs and energy saving modes for baggage and walkway systems.
  • Procurement of a minimum of 20% of materials locally containing recycled content.
  • Airlines converted to electric ground support equipment (eGSE) on opening day, reducing 8,000 metric tons of greenhouse gasses annually.


So what are you waiting for? Come check out this vibrant new airport for yourself and experience Salt Lake like you’ve never seen it before.

*For the most current updates be sure to follow @slcairport on Instagram or visit their website at: https://slcairport.com/