HNTB awarded contract for Denver International Airport environmental review

Proposed seventh runway would address future increase in passenger traffic and airfield capacity needs

DENVER (March 25, 2022) – Denver International Airport awarded HNTB Corporation a contract to prepare an environmental assessment for the airport’s proposed seventh runway project. The seventh runway will be the first to be built at the Denver airport since 2003.

“Colorado is one of the fastest growing states in the country and Denver International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world, serving as a regional economic engine and a significant gateway to cities across the U.S. and the globe,” said Reza Akhavan, PE, HNTB vice president and office leader in Colorado. “As airport operations continue to grow, the increased airfield capacity will enable the national airspace to run with greater capability. HNTB is committed to working with the Denver airport to ensure it will have the necessary capacity and infrastructure to meet CEO Phil Washington’s Vision 100 of accommodating 100 million annual passengers between 2030 and 2035.”

The addition of a seventh runway requires review under the National Environmental Policy Act to determine if there are significant environmental impacts associated with the project. If the assessment identifies significant impacts and the Federal Aviation Administration determines an environmental impact statement is needed, HNTB will assist with the EIS, which would require an additional year to complete.

One of America’s busiest travel hubs, Denver International Airport saw a steady return in passenger traffic last year after 2020’s decline in traffic due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The seventh runway will help make the airfield more efficient, as well as meet the estimated growth throughout the Denver area.

HNTB has assisted with several other projects at Denver International Airport. Its past work includes architectural and design services for the Concourse Renewal Program, and design services for Concourses A-West and B-West as part of the airport’s Gate Expansion Project. HNTB also served as the design and construction manager on the airport’s Program Management Team for the Hotel and Transit Center.

HNTB project manager Kim Hughes, PE, associate vice president and HNTB’s practice leader for aviation environmental services, has worked extensively with the Denver airport. She assisted with the environmental review for the airport’s sixth runway, which opened in 2003, and tracked the potential for its seventh runway since 2010.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to work with Denver International Airport as it moves forward with a seventh runway,” said Hughes. “HNTB and I have a long history with the airport, and we understand this project’s environmental considerations. It is a great honor to continue working with the airport and to be part of the team helping to increase its capacity to meet the future needs of travelers.”

About HNTB

HNTB Corporation is an employee-owned infrastructure firm serving public and private owners and contractors. With 108 years of service, 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, and program and construction management. For more information, visit, or follow HNTB on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.