Originally Posted by bunt_q
DIA is in the midst of a new master planning process now. So far, it looks like a 7th runway is needed today (another east-west), and 9-10 in the 2030/2035 planning timeframe.
Keep in mind, at any given time, depending mostly on wind conditions, only the north-south or east-west runways might be in use. That cuts down significantly on weather related days that older and/or land-constrained airports have to deal with, and not just storms and snow.
Most of DIA's runways will be a nice, 12,500 feet in length. When DIA opened in 1995, they had 5 runways. In recent years, DIA built a 6th runway and this new runway is a 16,000 foot long runway! This of course, will be ideal for aircraft with an ultra heavy takeoff weight -- in Denver's slightly thinner atmosphere layer -- where a little additional speed is required to generate sufficient lift. This will come in handy for planes such as A380s and any future, yet to be designed, super-jumbo jets.
With DIA's current 6 non-intersecting runways, they can have 4 different aircraft taking off and/or landing, simuletantiously, in zero visibility conditions. As just mentioned, they need the 7th runway to be constructed now and it is being planned as part of the second phase of expansion for this decade, after the South Terminal/rail station/hotel under construction now.
The large number of long, non-intersecting runways, allows DIA to operate most efficiently, in most weather conditions. This is why it is the best performing, of all cold weather airports and useally better performing than most warm weather airports, in the USA.
Here's a short summary from the DIA Materplan:
Note: On this one, you can see the South Terminal and Rail Station/Hotel Expansion, which is currently underway.