Omaha Eppley Airfield’s recently implemented a modernization program, which identifies two projects to improve efficiency, capacity, safety and customer experience at the airport. Construction started this summer and is projected to last at least another year.
“It will be noticeable when these projects are complete- the improved entrance, the circulation, the efficiency- all of those things will be great for the customer experience when they travel out of Eppley Airfield. Not only now, but for decades to come,” said Steve McCoy, chief information and development officer for Omaha Airport Authority.
The terminal entrance roadway expansion project will straighten, lengthen and widen the roadway that comes off of Abbott Drive and into the terminal.
“As we’ve seen growth in passenger activity and to prepare for future growth, what we need to do is make sure we’re preparing that roadway to handle additional capacity for the long term,” he said.
Omaha Eppley has seven airlines that provide about 88 departures a day to 33 nonstop destinations.
The expansion will include a new airport entrance about 1,500 feet south of the current entrance. The new entrance will have new stoplights, traffic lanes, lighting and landscaping. The project will cost $20.3 million.
A $12 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration covers a portion of the costs, and the rest of the money comes from Omaha Airport Authority revenues. McCoy said the airport cannot tax the general public.
The other project is a structural rehabilitation of the south garage. The south garage restoration project will include new energy-efficient LED lighting, new painting inside and outside, wider stalls and new signage and wayfinding to improve circulation.
The airfield will also build a new express ramp in the garage. Premier parking will be moved to Level 3, and the express ramp will take parkers straight from ground level to premier parking. McCoy said that will be the most convenient parking option.
Omaha Airport Authority revenues will pay for the $8.3 million south garage restoration project.
“We’re doing this to improve the experience for the customer,” said Tim Schmitt, director of operations at Omaha Airport Authority. “We’re trying to make it easier for the customer to navigate through the airport and enhance their experience so it’s an enjoyable travel.”
Both projects are occurring simultaneously, and they will cost about $28.6 million.
President and CEO of Greater Omaha Chamber David Brown said that improving access to and from Omaha will help the city achieve its mission to be a top-tier metropolitan area.
He said the proximity of the airport to the centers of business, tourism and entertainment downtown already helps it stand out from the rest, and improvements to amenities, capacity and service make it even more attractive.
“We support the ambitious goals of the airport authority and know that the business community will appreciate the added benefits that come from a world-class airport,” Brown said.
Terminal access and south garage access will remain open throughout all phases of the project, but McCoy encourages travelers to use the north garage if they want to avoid construction.
“(Travelers) may see occasional minor detours on the roadway or closures to certain portions of the south garage,” he said. “However, it’s important to note that no significant delays are anticipated with this program.”
Visit omainmotion.com for more information.