Airport Check-in: Indianapolis readies $1.1B terminal

— -- New features at U.S. airports

•The new main terminal of Indianapolis International will formally open on Tuesday after three years of construction. The $1.1 billion facility — named Col. H. Weir Cook Terminal — will be able to handle up to 12 million passengers a year. The airport says the 1.2 million-square-foot terminal, with two 20-gate concourses, is the largest LEED-certified building (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) in the Midwest. It will also feature 50 retailers and restaurants, plus free Wi-Fi.

Some flights will still arrive at the old terminal on Tuesday, and airport employees will be stationed at both terminals to direct passengers. All flights will operate from the new terminal starting Wednesday. Ground transportation will be available until Nov. 26 for passengers who parked at the old terminal.

• Phoenix Sky Harbor has installed 80 recycling receptacles past security in all three of its terminals.

•Citing lack of demand, airport officials in Los Angeles will drop the sole commercial flight at LA/Palmdale Regional Airport on Dec. 7 and abandon efforts to develop it as a commercial airport. LA/Palmdale Regional is located about 60 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles. Los Angeles World Airports, the city agency that runs LAX and other regional airports, launched the United flight from Palmdale to San Francisco last year to gauge its viability as an airport that would help relieve traffic at LAX.

Route news

• Delta will launch service between Paris Charles de Gaulle and both Pittsburgh and Raleigh/Durham, N.C. Delta's Raleigh/Durham-Paris service will start June 2, while its Pittsburgh-Paris service is scheduled for June 3. Delta will fly five times a week on both routes, using Boeing 757s.

• Delta will begin a weekly, non-stop Nashville-Cancun, Mexico, route starting Dec. 27.

• Southwest Airlines will restore daily non-stop service between Kansas City and Fort Lauderdale on Nov. 2.

Facts and figures

• The number of airports offering common-use self-service kiosks — which can be shared by more than one airline — has grown to 130 from 10 in February 2004, according to the International Air Transport Association. About 30% of passenger check-ins are now conducted via kiosks (40% in North America), it says. Europe has 51 airports using common-use kiosks, compared with 29 in North Asia and 18 in the Americas.

•Southwest Airlines will operate eight daily flights between Minneapolis-St. Paul and Chicago Midway, with fares starting at $69 one-way. The service will begin on March 8. Southwest announced the service last month, but didn't disclose fares or the number of flights at the time.

Rick Seaney, CEO of, says the new fares are lower than what other carriers were charging for the route. United and Northwest, which previously had fares as high as $426 one way, matched Southwest's fares as of last Thursday, he wrote in an e-mail.

"We are likely to be in for some serious fireworks on prices out of Minneapolis in the coming days for spring travel," he says. "The legacy airlines will quickly have to restructure their airfares by offering one-way fares instead of the two-night minimum stay round-trip fares they currently file."

Southwest also filed fares for 56 destinations from Minneapolis connecting through its Midway hub.

Every Monday, we report on the latest news in airports across the USA. See something noteworthy in your travels? E-mail your suggestions to