Denver International Airport has begun the search for consultants in a plan to add a seventh runway to the nation’s fifth-busiest aviation facility. The airport is bidding three contracts totaling as much as $38 million for program management, design and environmental review for the runway, which is expected to cost $1.2 billion and begin service in 2028.

Based on pre-pandemic trends, DIA was on track to nearly double its 2019 volume in the coming decade, reaching 94 million passengers by 2030. The airport has sufficient space on its 52.4-sq-mile property to accommodate up to 12 runways.