Will Rogers World Airport
Will Rogers World Airport is located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It is the primary commercial airport for the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area. While some airports are customarily named international airports, Will Rogers is the only airport to designate “World” in its name. The airport has no international flights despite the presence of customs and immigration services. The elevation of Will Rogers World Airport is 1,295 feet above sea level. As of 2011, more than 3 million passengers and over a 130,000 aircrafts travel to and from Will Rogers World Airport. More than 68.5 million pounds of cargo went through the airport in 2010. The airport is named for comedian and cowboy Will Rogers. Roger, an Oklahoma native, was killed in a plane crash in 1935. It is the busiest airport in the state of Oklahoma.
History of Will Rogers Airport
During America’s involvement in World War II, the airport was known as Will Rogers Field. At the time, the airport served as a training facility for the US Army Air Force’s fighter and bomber units. It was the first leg of pre-deployment training destinations. A main terminal building was built in 1967. In the late 1990s, the building was deemed unsuitable.
The Oklahoma City Airport Trust later adopted a three phase plan that included renovating the terminal in 2001. A new and improved terminal was constructed to replace the twin concourses that were demolished to make way for the project. The estimated cost of the projected is estimated at $110 million. The first phase involved the construction of walkways from the parking garage to the main terminal building. Additional construction included a new core of elevators and escalators on both the tunnel level and on level one. Reconstruction was made to the roofs of the lower level and level one were made. The second phase included construction of a new concourse west of the central terminal area. Renovations were made to both the exterior and interior to match the new design. The new concourse was opened in 2005, while the phase itself was completed in late 2006. The third and final phase is intended to construct a new concourse located east of the central terminal. Once completed, eight new gates will be added to the terminal. Construction of the final phase is delayed due to the aviation industry facing a decrease of airline passengers.
There is one terminal with 17 gates located at the West Concourse and Central Concourse. The gates on the south side of the building are even numbered, while the gates on the north side are odd numbered. However, due to the layout of the terminal, many odd-numbered gates are omitted. Once the final phase continues and is completed, there will be a total of nine additional gates. The number of gates will be increased to 26. The new facility will also house international flights and include the customs and immigration services. Will Rogers World Airport approved a contract with Frankfurt Short Bruzza Associates in 2008. The firm is responsible for the final phase of the airport’s expansion.