toltommy wrote:masseybrown wrote:Eventually, if WN or somebody wanted to make CLE a smallish hub again, Concourse D could be turned into a nice 15-20 gate home for it. All it needs is a fairly cheap connector to the main terminal.
There are plenty of gates in the main terminal that could be used in such a case. UA is paying for more than they need. I suspect that their gate utilization is nowhere near max. Concourse D will never be used again. It would need retrofitted on the side that was designed for turboprops, and the existing jetbridges on the other side are configured for regional aircraft, not mainline. Concourse D should be repurposed (car rental center) or torn down, but only after UA has finished paying for it.
Yes, UA has more gates (14) than they need for 45-50 flights a day; but they RON a bunch of planes and use most of them for that. In addition, they recently renegotiated the Concourse C lease. They could have dropped more gates than they did. So either they wanted to preserve a cheap option to expand or they are gate-sitting; and I don't believe they are gate-sitting.
It's a mistake, however, to think CLE is full of empty gates. There are as many 10 free ones, but they are scattered in A and C Concourses; B is full. Of the free gates in A, a couple of them are operationally less desirable, so there is less there than you might think. Of the five common use gates in C, two are regularly used a couple of times a day by AA.
So if some airline other than UA wanted to expand, reopening D could be a quick and relatively cheap ($30 million?) way to do it. I'm not holding my breath, but it's a viable option and a reason not be in a rush to tear it down .