Oklahoma City is one step closer to seeing a major expansion project for the state's busiest airport. The project proposal, which has been presented to city council members, is intended to attract more airlines to Will Rogers World Airport.
"We're at 88 percent [gate] capacity right now, and we need to accommodate future airline growth in this city," airport spokesperson Karen Carney said.
The project will add a new wing to the east side of the airport, allowing for up to nine gates and an international travel processing center. Officials also plan on creating a single large and centralized security checkpoint, more restaurants and shopping. The estimated price tag for the project is $70 million.
"We've gone through a very extensive financial plan for that," Carney said.
Carney tells News 9 that city taxpayers won't pay a dime thanks to facility charges on airline tickets and federal grants.
The new security checkpoint will cut down on lines forming in the airport lobby, according to the airport. The plan indicates that additional space will allow for a "meet and greet" waiting room where the current western security checkpoint is located.
"The airport is obviously the gateway," Carney told News 9. "When we see growth and expansion here, we know that growth and expansion is happening in the city itself."
The expansion proposal is at a preliminary stage and designs may experience some change along the way. Carney says it may take four to five years before a new gate opens at Will Rogers World Airport.