Crews work Saturday on moving the wreckage of Continental Flight 1404 to a stop outside the Continental hangar at Denver International Airport. Colorado grocery workers worry as Thanksgiving shoppers crowd stores. Mayor Michael Hancock was an intern in the Peña administration and wrote a paper on DIA’s financing for a college class. What companies run services between Denver Airport (DEN), USA and Old Faithful, WY, USA? GET BREAKING NEWS IN YOUR BROWSER. Frontier's baggage handler Ryan Brown loads a plane at Denver International Airport on May 1, 2009. Downtown, 31% of office space sat vacant, Peña said. A United airplane files in on approach as a Jet Blue Aircraft gets de-iced at Denver International Airport during a major snow storm on Oct. 29, 2009. Denver was facing lawsuits over noise from residents in the Park Hill neighborhood, and the runways were so close together they often had to close when weather moved in. One of two gargoyles at Denver International Airport by artist Terry Allen is pictured on Oct. 20, 2016. On November 25, 1990, a fuel-dispensing facility operated by United and Continental Airlines exploded and burned for over 48 hours, consuming almost three million gallons of fuel. Denver International Airport is pictured on March 24, 2016. He views DIA’s success as a testament to vision and perseverance. It was the sixth-busiest airport in the country despite a propensity for delays and traffic jams that would ripple out to the coasts. Photographed: at Stapleton Airfield, Denver, Colo., March 26, 1932. . Thousands of people were trapped at the airport and on Peña Boulevard in part because Webb’s administration focused on clearing streets in the city instead of around DIA. The Luis Jimenez "Mustang" sculpture arrives and is erected at Denver International Airport on Monday, Feb. 11, 2008. Booked for a combined 880 departures and arrivals on that first day in 1995, the airport today averages 1,700 flights in and out every day. But in the end, Stapleton International Airport was just too small and too close to the city. Families used to be able to watch planes land and take off at Stapleton International Airport. “The good news is we’re talking about the 25th anniversary and we’re not saying a word about the baggage system not working.”. A woman gets instruction from a Transportation Security Administration agent while passing through a full body scanner at Denver International Airport on Nov. 17, 2010. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! , Most of Stapleton's airport infrastructure has been removed, except for the control tower and some hangars including one used by Denver Police Academy and another one by Stapleton Fellowship church. Nicky Patzner, right, 16, jumps into his brothers arms, Randy Patzner, 18, after Randy arrived at Denver International Airport from Kansas City for the Holidays. Gunther did find his luggage on his return trip to DIA several days later. The jet age arrived in May 1959 when Continental began operating Boeing 707s to Stapleton, initially under weight restrictions due to Stapleton's runway capacity. “What it tells us is that while we might get some bumps and bruises in the process of getting something great done, don’t stop,” he said. Colorado still has a transportation funding crisis. "Mustang" was bolted onto a concrete base. Peña was there, representing President Bill Clinton’s administration as the secretary of transportation. “I gave a speech to the Rotary Club the other day on this, and after I spoke the audience was exhausted,” Peña said. Even at full build-out, the airport will only take about half the vast expanse of prairie it occupies. A sign saying goodbye to Stapleton International Airport. Before closing in 1995, Stapleton International Airport was Colorado's premier airport for 65 years. It was 16 months overdue and $2 billion over its original $2.9 billion budget. The airport's 12-story control tower was retained and served for a time as part of the new Punch Bowl Social, a restaurant and social gathering spot. In return, that county’s elected leaders would campaign hard for the plan in their communities. That ill-fated computerized baggage system would go down in DIA lore, along with alleged alien bunkers and ties to the New World Order. Other airlines with smaller operations at Stapleton included Aspen Airways, the current version of Frontier Airlines, and Rocky Mountain Airways, all three being based in Denver at the time.. Colorado road conditions: Heavy morning snow causes messy commute, passed through its concourses and tented terminal in 2019, construction controversies have dogged DIA in recent years, Thousands of people were trapped at the airport, signing a new lease agreement that will see its DIA presence grow to 90 gates, Hensel Phelps set to relaunch construction this month, opened on the south end of the terminal in 2015, suing DIA for $33.5 million over alleged aircraft noise violations, the airport takes legal action to prevent homes from getting too close, Denver Mayor Hancock apologizes for flying for Thanksgiving after urging others not to travel due to COVID-19, Denver Health retaliated against those who spoke out about systemic racism and COVID-19, whistleblower complaint alleges, Restaurants that defy COVID-19 orders could lose licenses, governor says, Longmont mayor wants to restrict hospitals’ treatment of Weld County residents due to lack of COVID-19 response, Health officials shut down 5 Douglas County restaurants for refusing to follow COVID-19 restrictions, Gun-toting Congresswoman-elect Lauren Boebert may carry Glock at Capitol, Denver City Council approves $1,000 fine for companies violating short-term rental rules. To combat congestion, runway 18/36 was added in the 1980s and the terminal was again expanded with the $250 million (or $58 million according to the New York Times) 24 gate Concourse E opening in 1988, despite Denver's replacement airport already being under construction. Welch, an architect student, was trying to get back to North Carolina. “It was a great day and it was satisfying to all of us; to many, many people,” Peña said. Courtesy Denver Public Library Digital Archvies. Other improvements include the purchase of an additional train set to add to the tracks of the airport’s terminal-to-concourse rail line, upgrades to in-terminal baggage systems and — most controversially — a $650 million overhaul of the Jeppesen Terminal itself that could end up costing much more than that. , In the late 1930s the facilities consisted of two hangars and a small administration building mainly used for air mail processing. Stapleton opened in 1929 as Denver Municipal Airport on October 17. The brother's sister, Sarah, 19, left, holds a welcome sign for her brother and awaits a hug too. The airline cancelled numerous flights causing customers to re-think and re-plan trips. Both airlines plan to significantly boost their flight traffic. “Just one I wish I had back,” Webb said. “On one issue you may be connected at the hip, and the next moment you’re having to ask for some legal assistance to settle a dispute.”. On September 17, 1988, Continental Express Flight 2063, a Beechcraft 1900 propjet under the control of Captain Orlando Zullo, was forced to make an emergency belly landing at 6:30 p.m. , Delta Flight 569 from Dallas/Ft.Worth was the last airline flight to land at Stapleton. A blizzard shut down the airport completely, stranding thousands of airline passengers. Frontier Airline passenger Sam Gunther looks for his luggage at Denver International Airport on Dec. 20, 2016.  The airport was then shut down, marking the end of 65 years of service. A private group of Denver civic leaders, the Stapleton Development Foundation, convened in 1990 and produced a master plan for the site in 1995, emphasizing a pedestrian-oriented design rather than the automobile-oriented designs found in many other planned developments. A July 1997 hailstorm punched roughly 4,000 holes in the roofs of the old terminal and concourses, causing severe water damage, which compelled the city to tear them down.