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Love it or hate connecting through it, Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) always seems to be pushing forward with passenger experience improvements. The recently renovated Terminal A looks more like a sleek mall that happens to also have flights than a traditional airport terminal. A recent face-lift to Terminal D’s duty free store turned into the largest in the country, with some little-known secluded passenger seating areas above it.

This week, DFW airport announced its next passenger-comfort and environmentally-friendly improvement: new “dynamic” windows. These windows can be electronically dimmed — similar to what you see on the Boeing Dreamliner — to reduce the amount of light coming through. This can reduce glare and temperatures up to 15 degrees.

Image courtesy of View Glass
Image courtesy of View Glass.

The airport just approved a $25.5 million project to install 500,000 square feet of these windows strategically throughout the terminals. Once fully installed, the windows are expected to cut energy costs by about 20%. Dallas News reports that DFW spends $18 million on energy each year. If the 20% savings is realized, the windows will earn back their cost in just seven years.

Bar at DFW with View
Twisted Root bar at DFW with View’s dynamic glass installed.

But, there’s another reason for the windows besides the cost savings. If darker airport windows in DFW sound familiar, that’s because it was just recently reported that darker windows helped cause a 80% jump in alcohol sales at one DFW airport bar. The Twisted Root restaurant/bar and the nearby gate A25 were the test bed for this project. After the huge success during this test, DFW decided to sign the contract for the $25.5 million install.

This new project is far from the first environmentally friendly initiative by DFW. The airport purchases its electricity from renewable sources — or purchases renewable energy offsets. DFW’s shuttles and transportation vehicles almost exclusively run compressed natural gas (CNG). And, believe it or not, DFW runs without air conditioning during the summer. Especially during peak energy demand times, the airport stays cool by pumping chilled water through the terminals.

These efforts achieved a 29% reduction in per passenger carbon emissions from 2010 and 2016. While passengers grew 15% during the same period, the airport cut its energy costs by 38%. After decades of these incremental improvements, in 2016, DFW airport was recognized as first airport in North America to achieve “Carbon Neutral status.”

H/T: Dallas News

Featured image courtesy of View Glass

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