DTW Gates C28 and Beyond

Old Jun 20, 19, 6:32 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 199
DTW Gates C28 and Beyond

I had extra time this week at the Detroit airport. In the C terminal for outbound flights the last C gate is 27. There are doors that go beyond that that are closed off with signs that alarms will go off in you enter. There appear to be valid gates of C-28 and beyond and there were even a couple of regional jets parked at them.

My question is what are these gates for? My guess would be that they are for Delta Connection inbound flights from Canada where you need to go through passport control, but then I don't see where those people reenter the airport for connection flights. Is there another tunnel to the A terminal for passport control? In years past (can't remember seeing them lately) you would see small jets (presumably inbound from Canada) at the A terminal gates that are setup to directly you downstairs for international arrivals.

Any insights would be great.

Thanks in advance
boatnfish is offline  
Old Jun 20, 19, 6:42 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: St. Cloud, FL
Programs: DL PM, UA Silver, Marriott Titanium, Hertz Presidents Circle
Posts: 2,225
Originally Posted by boatnfish View Post
I had extra time this week at the Detroit airport. In the C terminal for outbound flights the last C gate is 27. There are doors that go beyond that that are closed off with signs that alarms will go off in you enter. There appear to be valid gates of C-28 and beyond and there were even a couple of regional jets parked at them.

My question is what are these gates for? My guess would be that they are for Delta Connection inbound flights from Canada where you need to go through passport control, but then I don't see where those people reenter the airport for connection flights. Is there another tunnel to the A terminal for passport control? In years past (can't remember seeing them lately) you would see small jets (presumably inbound from Canada) at the A terminal gates that are setup to directly you downstairs for international arrivals.

Any insights would be great.

Thanks in advance
They are RJ gates that DL shuttered a few years ago with the decline in 50 seaters. Almost all flights from Canada-US are pre-cleared in Canada so customs isnít needed upon arrival.
MCO Flyer is offline  
Old Jun 20, 19, 6:43 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: MSP
Programs: Delta PM, Hyatt Discoverist, Hertz PC
Posts: 2,225
They’re not used for passenger service. As Delta upgauged and retired the turboprops, they needed fewer of the small plane gates, so the terminal was closed off. Similarly at MSP, they only use the B gates closest to the runway, and not the B gates across the concourse that face the A concourse.
jrkmsp is offline  
Old Jun 20, 19, 8:28 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: miami, florida
Posts: 1,400
Originally Posted by boatnfish View Post
I had extra time this week at the Detroit airport. In the C terminal for outbound flights the last C gate is 27. There are doors that go beyond that that are closed off with signs that alarms will go off in you enter. There appear to be valid gates of C-28 and beyond and there were even a couple of regional jets parked at them.

My question is what are these gates for? My guess would be that they are for Delta Connection inbound flights from Canada where you need to go through passport control, but then I don't see where those people reenter the airport for connection flights. Is there another tunnel to the A terminal for passport control? In years past (can't remember seeing them lately) you would see small jets (presumably inbound from Canada) at the A terminal gates that are setup to directly you downstairs for international arrivals.

Any insights would be great.

Thanks in advance

All DTW flights from Canada preclear US Customs and immigration in Canada so upon arrival in DTW they are treated like a domestic flight.
sydneyracquelle is offline  
Old Jun 20, 19, 8:58 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 1,641
DL used to have 200+ daily flights on 50-seaters out of DTW. They are now down to 86. You don't need 40+ gates to handle 86 daily flights so they walled off the last 16 gates a few years ago leaving them with roughly 25 gates in the C concourse.
xliioper is offline  
Old Jun 20, 19, 9:16 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: DTW
Programs: DL - PM, (NW - Plat), AA - Gold, Marriott - Plat, Avis - First
Posts: 817
As said, they walled-off the north end of Concourse C in 2016 due to the reduction in 50-seat RJ departures. They still will use the gates to hardstand park aircraft for spares/maintenance/overnight parking but they do not use that section of the concourse for passenger use.
MSPeconomist likes this.
DTWflyer is offline  
Old Jun 20, 19, 11:14 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Hilton Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: San Antonio
Programs: DL DM, Former AA EXP now AY Plat, NW Plat, Former CO Gold, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 17,763
Originally Posted by DTWflyer View Post
As said, they walled-off the north end of Concourse C in 2016 due to the reduction in 50-seat RJ departures. They still will use the gates to hardstand park aircraft for spares/maintenance/overnight parking but they do not use that section of the concourse for passenger use.
Was there a benefit to walking it off? Seems like in a pinch it'd be better to have a few extra gates.
flyerCO is offline  
Old Jun 21, 19, 2:02 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 427
Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
Was there a benefit to walking it off? Seems like in a pinch it'd be better to have a few extra gates.
Reduced maintenance required for the area, less environmental/lighting demands since it's not public facing, reduced security patrols, stop passengers wandering and getting lost in an area with no/minimal staff to provide assistance. Can also potentially function as a storage area. Test area for new gate/airport flow layouts. Disaster planning/drills. Plenty of potential reasons, that's just a list of what came to me in 60 seconds or so.
Auston, RoyalFlush and KBMIFlyer like this.
Lux Flyer is offline  
Old Jun 21, 19, 4:09 am
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Hilton Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: San Antonio
Programs: DL DM, Former AA EXP now AY Plat, NW Plat, Former CO Gold, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 17,763
Originally Posted by Lux Flyer View Post
Reduced maintenance required for the area, less environmental/lighting demands since it's not public facing, reduced security patrols, stop passengers wandering and getting lost in an area with no/minimal staff to provide assistance. Can also potentially function as a storage area. Test area for new gate/airport flow layouts. Disaster planning/drills. Plenty of potential reasons, that's just a list of what came to me in 60 seconds or so.
I was curious if there was a known reason. All of those are reasonable. However it just seems like such a small area that none of those would be a major issue. Security is done via cameras/alarms, not like passengers would be going down there so no issue with no staff, doubtful lights can be turned off to just that small section, etc... Just seems like unless they were converting it to something else useful (offices, maintenance area, etc) it cost more to close off than just keep it open.
flyerCO is offline  
Old Jun 21, 19, 6:39 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: DFW
Programs: AA Plat
Posts: 6,881
I can't see Delta turning it into anything else. Eventually they may add enough flights that they need these gates. It's possible they reconfigure it for larger planes, but its not like they seem to be wanting for gates at DTW.
james318 is offline  
Old Jun 21, 19, 7:06 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: DTW
Programs: DL - PM, (NW - Plat), AA - Gold, Marriott - Plat, Avis - First
Posts: 817
Some posts I've made about DTW / Concourse C on another forum:

1) Master Plan - the master plan was recently updated in 2017. This is a comprehensive study based on short, medium, and long-term planning used to forecast and project infrastructure needs and determine how best to invest in said infrastructure.

Within the Master Plan, it outline options from a sub-committee involving DL in 2016 for the re-development of Concourse C. Two options were proposed to expand the gates to be able to accommodate CRJ-900 & 717-sized aircraft. One option was to fill-in the nodes to expand the hold-rooms, the other option was to fill-in the nodes to relocate concession space. The construction costs ranged from $90-$120 M for either option. At this time, there is no current need to add more gates so its not even planned or funded. This is simply a long-term option if the need ever transpires to re-activate or need additional CR9/717 sized gates. The long-term forecasts and guidance by DL currently do not indicate they need to do so.

2) History of Concourse C
The midfield terminal for DTW was planned and designed for NW and where the industry was at in the mid/late '90s, which included a few major things that aburptly changed in the early 2000s;
One was post-9/11 security requirements which had all the concessions post-security and the need to expand security checkpoint square footage and capacity.
Two, was that Concourse C was designed at the time more like CVG Concourse C with a common hold-room and corridor to loading bridges. Right around this time is when the RJ-arms-race began with AA being a big PR piece about going "all-jet" at ORD, DL at CVG making a big splash about the same, and NW was a bit late to the RJ-race, partially in part of what led to the 1998 pilots strike and eventually cave in scope restrictions.
Either way, starting a few years after opening the terminal, Concourse B was extended, and Concourse C was rebuilt into its current-state opening in 2005.

3) Gate Utilization at DTW
DL at DTW significantly under-utilizes the gates, they have no need to add additional gates and there is no need in the current environment to rebuild the Concourse C gates. For example there are CR2/7/9s parking on A-gates and if the need ever transpired, they could easily push those out to B/C and so forth.
strickerj and silverthief2 like this.
DTWflyer is offline  
Old Jun 21, 19, 7:09 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: DTW
Programs: DL - PM, (NW - Plat), AA - Gold, Marriott - Plat, Avis - First
Posts: 817
And also:

There is no currently no firm plan to do anything in the short to mid-term with the shuttered portion of Concourse C, other than to use the gates for DCI hardstand / RON parking and GSE storage/staging area. When DL initially proposed to shutter the north-end of Concourse C a few years ago one option was to demolish the closed portion, but the WCAA's decision firmly was no. DL had to take a write-down on the shutter portion of the terminal that still wasn't depreciated. The airport did fill-in the ramp area north of Concourse C to make an area for DL to use for hardstand / RON parking, which was needed, particularly since the 4R de-ice pad has been used for that purpose, but they can't during de-icing ops.

Concourse C is still used fairly extensively, but its a function of the highly-banked nature of DTW. In particular, during the larger banks during the big morning departure bank from 8:30-9:30, and also during the big evening departure banks at 5pm and 8pm that have significant number of CRJ-200 departures. In the early-evening, not uncommon for almost every gate on C to be used. Middle of the day the departure banks are much smaller and they don't need to use much of C. Gate utilization is pretty low though, and I'd guess the numbers are somewhere around 3-4 departures a day on average.

They have reconfigured several of the gates on C to fit CR7 or CR9 sized aircraft, but respacing and removing about every 3rd or 4th gate on each side. Some of the gates, particularly the ones that are attached to the old ground-level hold room are CRJ-200 only gates.

In the most recent master plan, there are options proposed to how they could repurpose Concourse C to fit larger aircraft if the demand ever makes it necessary. Essentially, the preffered option would be to fill-in the "nodes" between the gate pods to make for expanded hold rooms and concession areas and reconfigure the parking positions to fit up to 717 sized aircraft. However, there is no plan to do and the demand in the near term doesn't justify doing so.

TL/DR - Concourse C is still needed in reduced capacity and no plans to do anything diffferent than status-quo at this time.
DTWflyer is offline  
Old Jun 21, 19, 3:47 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 10
They closed the Fuddruckers in the C gates at DTW.
It will simply never be the same. I try to stick to the A gates or go through MSP.
The lounge in C is materially nicer than A though...
rpezman24 is offline  
Old Jun 21, 19, 5:40 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Programs: Delta Skymiles
Posts: 921
I had no idea they closed down those gates. I haven’t been in Terminal C in ages, and it is hardly a place one goes “just to visit”....

Worries me, is a CVG like demolition next? Is terminal C really even needed? Shame they couldn’t have relocated some other airlines into that terminal. Some of us have fond memories of seeing not just Delta, but also Continental and NorthWest AirLines in the terminal.
cfabar1 is offline  
Old Jun 21, 19, 6:50 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 1,641
Originally Posted by cfabar1 View Post
I had no idea they closed down those gates. I haven’t been in Terminal C in ages, and it is hardly a place one goes “just to visit”....

Worries me, is a CVG like demolition next? Is terminal C really even needed? Shame they couldn’t have relocated some other airlines into that terminal. Some of us have fond memories of seeing not just Delta, but also Continental and NorthWest AirLines in the terminal.

Well, it was originally for Northwest and partner Continental flights when it was built for NW and opened in 2002. DL only moved flights over to the terminal in 2005 (from the Smith terminal) after NW and CO joined Skyteam in 2004.
xliioper is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: