Published January 02, 2020
Quick update: Concourse E is now complete. See how it came to life.
Not every city has an affinity for its airport. But Portland isn’t just any city. And PDX isn’t just any airport.
“You find brands here [at PDX] that Portlanders love, small-businesses, and women- and minority-owned businesses. It reflects the Portland I see on the street every day,” says Katherine Lam, owner and president of Bambuza Vietnam Kitchen. “It gives travelers a taste of the true Portland experience.”
We’ve got good news: More of that neighborhood flavor is landing at the Portland International airport when the freshly expanded Concourse E opens this summer.
If you’ve driven into PDX recently, you may have glimpsed the sleek building going up alongside Airport Way. That’s the bright Concourse E extension. In addition to six new gates for Southwest Airlines, it welcomes a new Bambuza cafe and many more coming attractions.
Wondering what else is unfolding behind those glass walls? Check out this sneak peek of the cool things coming to the brighter, tastier and PDX-ier E gates.
A sweeping wall of windows frames views of Oregon’s biggest volcano. (See what’s inspiring the new designs.)
Tillamook is bringing a slice of the Oregon Coast to PDX, where you can get a taste of your favorite cheese, ice cream and more “dairy done right.” (See a full list of food hot spots coming to the airport.)
The concourse doubles as a gallery for three-dimensional sculptures inspired by Portland’s cityscape and the natural elements of the Pacific Northwest. (Check out our conversation with Jacob.)
(Credit: Fredrick Nilsen)
Tender Loving Empire opens a new marketplace stocked with handmade goods and vinyl LPs.
Sip craft cocktails at Juliett, a landmark lounge from the Lightning Bar Collective — the team behind some of your favorite watering holes like Sweet Hereafter and the Bye and Bye.
(Credit: Sweet Hereafter)
Chow down on bánh mi, pho and more at the latest outpost from this Portland cafe, which sources local ingredients and uses 100% recyclable take-out packaging.
We’re bringing you more cozy spots to relax and recharge — literally — before your next flight.
Now you can get your Jamba smoothies, bowls, juices, shots and more at PDX. And c’mon, sometimes all you need is a cool Caribbean Passion.
Here's what this year will look like for PDX (and you!)
For the past year, we've built a nine-acre roof on a prefabrication lot to the northwest of the airport. The construction crews are now installing the last component—an intricate wood lattice, sourced from sustainable Northwest forests, that will eventually cover the interior ceiling.
What you'll see: If you drive along Marine Boulevard, you can glimpse the roof's dramatic swoops in the prefab lot.
Behind all those partitions in the pre-security area, construction crews have been hollowing out the back half of the main terminal. Starting in March, the exterior structure is also coming down to create a more open, spacious footprint. It may get noisy for a few months!
What you'll see: Not much, in fact. But when you’re in the ticket lobby and going through security, you may hear and feel what’s happening on the other side of those partitions. We're strategizing ways to counteract the sound, including free earplugs at the front doors and a sensory room in Concourse D.
Next, we’re erecting 34 giant steel Y-shaped columns to hold up the roof. Right now, construction crews are driving steel pilings deep into the ground to anchor these columns. Over the course of a few months, we’ll erect the Y columns one by one.
What you'll see: You probably won't notice—most are going up overnight behind the temporary walls. Late-night travelers will occasionally have to walk a few yards around an installation site.
Once the biggest section of the wood roof is fully assembled, the project team will break it back down into 20 "cassettes". During the summer and fall, Hoffman-Skanska and Mammoet will maneuver each cassette into place over the existing roof. It will take several days to place each cassette, and the work will happen overnight — depending on the section we’re placing, we may guide late-night travelers around a short detour.
What you'll see: Unless you're flying into PDX on a late-night flight, or camped out on Marine Drive at 2 a.m., you won't see much. If you walk to the ends of Concourse C or Concourse D and look back toward the main terminal, you'll catch a glimpse of the airport's new roofline.
In addition to the big projects, you’ll see a host of new amenities appear throughout the airport. A new play area in Concourse E. New art. New restaurants and cafes. (Lardo! Screen Door! Good Coffee!) You're almost guaranteed to encounter something new every time you visit the airport — and we're not talking barricades.