PORTLAND — Everyone hates getting stuck at the airport.

It’s crowded, the seats aren’t comfy, you can never find an outlet and everything is overpriced.

But maybe not at the Portland International Airport.

Even with construction, limited pre-security shops and the removal of the post-security terminal connector, brought about by the $2 billion PDX Next remodel project, the airport retains its appeal, especially with the remodeled Concourse B and extended Concourse E.

Three million board feet of lumber later, and the main terminal’s new 392,000-square-foot, curved roof is completed and ready to be moved from the roof fabrication yard, three-quarters of a mile down the tarmac to the main terminal.

The roof can be separated into 25 different sections. The first section will be moved into place at the end of August; the entire roof is scheduled to be in place by the end of the year.

Building off the airport’s local theme, 95% of the steel used in the new roof comes from within 25 miles, and all the wood comes from within 300 miles of the airport, primarily from small family farms, tribal farms and sustainably managed forests. When completed, there will be signs describing which sections of the roof came from which tribal forests.

The first things you notice when you walk into PDX nowadays are the giant faux sticky notes informing flyers of ongoing construction and the work being done on the ceiling.


Gone is the old dark and dingy Concourse A, and in its place is an extended Concourse B with high ceilings, natural light, giant windows, new restrooms, electrical sockets in every seat and Good Coffee, with Screen Door opening soon.

Located next to Capers Cafe and Stumptown coffee, Concourse B used to just be a handful of gates before an escalator brought you down to Concourse A. It was one of the first places to undergo construction in late 2019. It reopened in December 2021.

Horizon and Alaska’s local flights, which used to primarily depart from Concourse A, now use the gates on Concourse B.

Concourse C, where the rest of Alaska’s flights depart, remains mostly the same, with the exception of the walkway to bypass construction.

Concourse E, where Southwest Airlines and United Airlines are housed, was extended, adding seven more gates and eight stores and restaurants, including Juliet, a women-in-aviation-themed bar. Like Concourse B, each chair has an electrical socket, plenty of natural light and art from local artists.

Rental cars are now on-site, so you don’t have to take a shuttle to pick one up, and 2,225 new parking spaces have opened. A new ride-share pickup center will open in 2023, easing congestion, a second MAX light rail track will be completed in 2024, and there will be improvements to cycling paths.