As we've discussed before, when the Worldgateway was initially designed in the late 90's, this was prior to the RJ
boom. In fact, NW
didn't have a single CRJ until 2000, and they didn't start showing up in DTW
until mid-2001. At this point, regional airlines were still an afterthought and same goes for their airport facilities. At the time, the design would've been adequate for a mostly Saab operation. Plus, there were significant would've been significant costs to totally redesign the operation on C, and NW
needed to get the Worldgateway open as soon as possible.
quickly realized the Concourse C idea didn't work. For the first few months they made everyone wait down in the C lobby until they called your flight to go down the hallway to the gate. Then NW
made plans to perimently correct the situation and didn't waste much time in doing so. Its gotten more crowded since more and more CRJ's are parking on C these days. Some people go and wait at the gate an hour for departure which is totally unnecessary on C. There is nothing wrong with standing around for a few minutes prior to boarding, after all you're going to be sitting for the next hour or two anyways.
As you've seen as more and more CRJ's have been delivered, Mesaba is now using 3 gates over on the northeast side of A concourse for the Arvo's. A few ARJ's still park over on B and besides CO
's gates, B is used for CRJ's.
When the 9 gate extension opens on B concourse, in 2005, DL
will supposedly move from the Smith terminal out to B. At that time the west side of C concourse will close in order to build the rebuilt C concourse. The new concourse will be designed like a normal concourse with individual waiting areas at each gate. It will be directly west of the current C. During this phase of construction the gates on the east side of C will still be operational along with a few hardstands. Once the new C is complete, the gates on the west side of new C will open in order to demolish the old C, fill in the ramp area and install jetways on the east side of new C. The new C will be approximately 40 gates will be longer than the old C, hence why they have started from the north and will work toward the existing building in order to minimize the effect on operations.
I'm not sure why people get so upset at NW
about the current set-up. Its 1000 times better than the old shuttle buses up on the old Golfcourse at the old Davey terminal. And also since NW
is actively working to fix this problem.