Portland International Airport Opens First New Gates In 20 Years

On July 15th, Portland International Airport, otherwise known as PDX, opened six new gates within its Concourse E extension. These gates will serve carrier Southwest Airlines as the Concourse E extension is the new home of the airline at PDX. According to the airport, these are the first new gates constructed by the airport in nearly 20 years.

new PDX Concourse E
The new concourse is part of a $2 billion upgrade program at PDX. Photo: Port of Portland

About the new concourse extension

The project was completed by over 2,000 builders working for more than 1,500 days. The 830-foot Concourse E extension provides additional capacity for the airport while offering more modern architecture and an improved airport experience. Included in this concourse extension are additional gates, shops, restaurants, and rest areas. “Architectural highlights include high ceilings and a sweeping wall of windows showcasing Mt Hood,” the airport notes.

“We’ve been so fortunate to have Southwest invest in Portland and we are excited to welcome them to their new home on Concourse E. This space brings travelers more of what they’ve told us they want – comfortable seating, local dining and shopping options, and a welcoming space for all guests.” -Chief Projects Officer Vince Granato

new PDX Concourse E
The concourse extension’s generous use of glass allows for plenty of natural light. Two three-dimensional sculptures hang at the center of the concourse. Photo: Port of Portland

Proud to feature grand works of art

The Concourse E extension also functions as an art gallery for contemporary artist Jacob Hashimoto’s three-dimensional sculptures. The airport describes the works as “canopies of kite-like discs that reflect the atmosphere of the Pacific Northwest and draw inspiration from Hashimoto’s Japanese heritage.”

The two large-scale pieces titled “The City” and “The Sky” hang at the center of the concourse and are the most recent inclusions in PDX’s long-standing art program.

new PDX Concourse E
The project marks the first expansion in nearly 20 years. Photo: Port of Portland

More shops and services

On the practical side of the new structure are 10 new places to shop and dine. So far, three companies have opened and are operating while one plans to open next week. This is what has been secured so far:

  • The Tillamook Market – A food shop offering fried cheese curds, grilled cheese sandwiches, an ice cream counter, and a selection of ‘grab-and-go items.’
  • Calliope – A new shop focused on accessories and gifts.
  • Your Northwest Travel Mart – What sounds like a local version of Hudson News, this shop offers the books, magazines, and newspapers.
  • Jamba –  A food stand offering smoothies, bowls, and fresh juices. Jamba opens on July 20th.

The airport notes that there are additional businesses slated to open eventually. Their launches are dependent on “economic conditions.” These shops are:

  • Bambuza Vietnam Kitchen
  • Evergreens
  • Juliett
  • Starbucks
  • Stumptown
  • Tender Loving Empire
new PDX Concourse E
This new concourse extension will be the home of Southwest Airlines at PDX. Photo: Port of Portland

Before the opening of the new concourse extension, Alaska Air Group and Southwest Airlines were located on the south side of the airport terminal building, with two-thirds of all PDX passengers using the south side of the terminal.

The airport says that Southwest’s move to Concourse E helps even out passenger use of the TSA security screening checkpoints, baggage handling systems, and ticket lobby facilities.

Do you or will you travel through PDX? Are you excited about this new terminal extension? Let us know in the comments!