The management department began their speaker series for the fall semester with Kim Day, chief executive officer at Denver International Airport (DEN). FAA Eastern Region Regional Administrator, Jennifer Solomon, was also in attendance and introduced Ms. Day. Kim Day has led DEN since April 2008. Under her guidance, it has become the nation’s fifth-busiest airport, the region’s most powerful economic engine, generating more than $33.5 billion annually, and the top-rated U.S. airport built for 69 billion passengers.

The presentation covered the impacts of COVID-19 on airport operations, the management of DEN’s finances post pandemic and how leveraging new technologies has been beneficial to the airport. After entering the pandemic strong with 700 days of operating cash on hand, Denver International Airport is one of the few airports to have not laid off employees as a result of the pandemic.

In order to further protect the airport ecosystem, DEN has deferred airline rental for three months and temporarily moved to a flat percentage of sales model for concessions and rental cars.

“The lessons learned are to develop alternative plans,” reminded Kim Day, chief executive officer. Going forward, she also reminded participants that the whole ecosystem must be supported as concessionaires and rental car companies are what heavily affect revenue.

Day is also heading a redevelopment of DEN’s iconic, tented Jeppesen Terminal that will modernize the facility, improve its security model and increase its capacity.