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Portland International Airport Five-Year Expansion Project Reaches 50% Completion

Portland International Airport (PDX) in Oregon, USA, is at its five-year expansion project’s 50% completion mark. The improvements, that will ultimately cost $2 billion, include a new Concourse E, expanding Concourse B while demolishing Concourse A, improvements in ground transportation access, and improvements to the main terminal set to open in 2025.


New Concourse E

Photo: PDXNext.com

According to PDX, the Concourse E extension was completed and opened in 2020. The new 830-foot facility required over 2,000 builders to stand up six new gates for Southwest Airlines.

SIMPLEFLYING VIDEO OF THE DAY

Seven new shops and restaurants come with the concourse also – plus a new bar celebrating women in aviation called ‘Juliett.’ The new bar features,

“…a line of portraits featuring famous aviators, specifically Berta Moraleda, Bessie Coleman, Micky Axton, and Hazel Ying Lee. All the portraits, painted by Sara Radovanovitch, are accompanied by brief descriptions of the pilots they feature, as well as their accomplishments.”

The bar also comes with unique beers, cocktails, and wines. Some drinks pay tribute to other female aviators of note, like Amelia Earhart and the Women Air Service Pilots (WASPs). There are also lovely airport views.

But this is not the only notable restaurant in Concourse E. There is also The Tillamook Market that includes the classics with fried cheese curds, grilled cheese sandwiches, an ice cream counter and a selection of grab-and-go items travelers can carry home in insulated bags.

New Concourse B

CD_11574_217 - peering down on PDX Concourse B interior

Photo: PDX Airport

Of course, PDX Is helping to keep Portland weird – in this case, by demolishing Concourse A without a replacement and then extending Concourse B. The new Concourse B is bigger, brighter, and more welcoming to guests. Most of these guests fly on Alaska Airlines’ regional subsidiary Horizon Air.

Author Photo of PDX Concourse B

Photo: Joe Kunzler | Simple Flying

Concourse B is intended to celebrate nature and be calming. From plants on the ceiling to new seats with power adapters to massive windows overlooking Horizon Air flight ops to three pieces of public art, it’s a reimagined place to wait for a regional connector flight.

Looking Back at Concourse B from the Q400

Photo: Joe Kunzler | Simple Flying

Such was the case last May when the author was waiting to fly and review a Dash 8-400 flight. You can see from the above photo from the Dash 8-400 (aka Q400) Concourse B and under the left wing the new rental car facility.

Improvements in ground transportation

RCC-Opening_01 (2) - interior of new PDX Rental Car Facility

Photo: PDX Airport

The new rental car facility was built for PDX and opened on November 10, 2021. The rental car facility comes with public art and eliminates the need for shuttles to and from airport rental car facilities. According to the airport’s statement, PDX currently has Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Payless, and Thrifty, along with new additions Sixt and Zipcar.

Disembarking the Trimet Red MAX Line at PDX

Photo: Joe Kunzler | Simple Flying

The regional public transit provider Trimet is also working on improving the light rail connection. With an improvement program called “A Better Red,” Trimet will extend the MAX Red Line westward and double-track the tracks from PDX to improve reliability. As someone who uses the Trimet MAX Red Line on occasion, I appreciate the efforts.

What’s next

Seeforyourself_MainTerminal_Gallery07 - new PDX Main Terminal

Graphic: PDXnext.com

PDX is also working on a new roof for the main terminal, among other remodeling plans. The new wooden top will provide more natural light. The plan is to complete sometime in 2025.

Do these improvements make you want to fly to PDX? Please let us know in the comments.

Sources: PDX Eater, PDXnext.com, Trimet “A Better Red” Fact Sheet

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