Will Rogers World Airport is getting a multi-million-dollar makeover and we now know what the $89 million terminal expansion will look like. OU Nightly’s Amina Switzer shows just what it took for these plans to take flight.
The expansion comes just in time, a record-breaking number of passengers traveled through Will Rogers World Airport just last year.
Millions of passengers combined with more carriers flying to more destinations has put strain on the current terminal and security checkpoints. The airport announced this expansion back in 2015.
“We kind of reached a trigger point where we only had one gate available that we needed to start planning and executing the expansion project,” said Karen Carney, WRWA Spokesperson.
In addition to airlines requiring more gates, TSA operations are evolving to require more space and the terminal has limited capacity for non-passenger visitors waiting for loved ones.
Four new gates, an open meeting area and more security space are included in the expansion plan, but there is room for even more.
Carney stated, “We planned these four gates, but we can continue to expand that concourse to add another seven gates as demand merits.”
The airport is also trying to re-institute a pre-911 feature, an observation area for non-passengers.
“This was something that we lost in our last expansion, we used to have an observation area that was pre-911 so we didn’t think it would be a problem, but then of course not everybody can go through the security checkpoint,” Carney said.
The airport received construction bids yesterday and will be selling revenue bonds to fund the project soon. Construction is expected to start in the first few months of 2019.