Only rarely in someone's career do they get a chance to be a part of something really big, something that will last. The new Dallas Love Field project that was proposed to the City this week is one of those opportunities. Fortunately, in my career I've gotten that opportunity many times. Just working here at Southwest day in and day out for over 30 years has been big and has been lasting. As Southwest's chief Airport geek, I've gotten chances to develop airports all over the country. I can tell you that this new terminal will leave a mark on the City of Dallas that will impact all future generations of travelers. Many of our Customers have been inconvenienced by the "Wright Amendment" since 1979. Due to the hard work of many people, including many of you, this unique restriction is on its way out.
This means that many more people are enjoying our particular brand of freedom here at Love Field, and that has highlighted many of the shortcomings of our old, faithful facility. Today's flier expects more. They tell us they want short security lines (something Love Field is noted for). They want convenience, comfort, choices in concessions, enough space to thwart congestion, and they want a good value. The plan we've worked on with the City of Dallas provides all those things, and more. It will contain a new, 20-gate central concourse, reliable air-conditioning, larger and more comfortable restrooms, and a shorter walk to the gates. It will bring ticket counter and roadway improvements, more convenience, and a great walk-up appeal. And......(drum roll), it won't break the bank.
Many cities talk about public/private partnerships, but the result is nothing like it. However, due to the leadership at Dallas City Hall and the Aviation Department, we are in the process of creating the kind of partnership that will deliver low costs and fast construction. The fruits will benefit our Customers, the City, the concessions, the other businesses at Love Field, and the airlines. A lot of work remains to make this a reality, but the unity of vision we've enjoyed so far has made this a very fun project. If done right (no pun intended), this terminal will become the new home of Southwest and of many of our Customers. I call that big, important, and lasting.