Will Rogers World Airport Launches First Phase of $100 Million Renovation; Parking & Terminal Access Modifications Lead Project List

Apr 03, 2001, 01:00 ET from Will Rogers World Airport

    OKLAHOMA CITY, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 3.5 million passengers
 passed through Will Rogers World Airport (www.flyokc.com) in 2000.  With local
 air travel expected to double within the next 12 years, airport officials
 announced today the launch of the first phase of a four-year, $100 million
 renovation project.  Roadways and approach ramps leading to the new terminal,
 a new commercial curb, enhanced parking facilities and major improvements to
 the underground tunnel top the project list.
     "We view this modernization of Will Rogers World Airport as the
 beautification of the front door to our city," said Luther E. Trent, director
 of the city's Department of Airports.  "It will enhance economic development
 efforts, prepare us for future growth and make the airport more efficient for
 our travelers and airlines."
     Travelers will immediately notice changes in parking as the airport
 concedes nearly 50-percent of available spaces on both levels of the two-story
 "short-term" parking lot immediately north of the terminal.  This will
 facilitate the extension of the terminal's ticketing counters and baggage
 claim area to the north, construction of new roadways and approach ramps, and
 the installation of new elevators and escalators at the north end of the lot.
 To make sure the remaining 244 upper level spaces were available for people
 picking-up and dropping-off passengers, the rate recently changed from $8 per
 day to $1 per hour.  No other parking rates were affected.
     "We really want to encourage travelers to use the 5-level garage, the
 shuttle parking lot, or our new "covered shuttle lot," said Karen Carney,
 Marketing Coordinator for Will Rogers World Airport.  "The shuttle lot
 provides outstanding service for the parker.  The bus picks you up and drops
 you off right at your car.  We have a spotter on duty atop the garage from
 5:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. assisting shuttle drivers during peak times.  The
 drivers usually have travelers picked-up at their car and transported to the
 terminal within 5 to 7 minutes."
     Although public parking will be suspended on the lower level of the two-
 story short-term facility, it will still house rental car parking and provide
 pedestrian access to the terminal when the underground tunnel connecting the
 garage to the terminal is closed in May for improvements.  The tunnel will be
 updated and skylights added to enhance its use.
     In anticipation of the construction and to offset the reduction of the
 short-term parking spaces, the airport has purchased two new shuttle busses
 that will be delivered in mid-April and have added 1,600 parking spaces to the
 "North Shuttle" lot in late 1999.  In addition, a "Covered Shuttle" lot with
 444 parking spaces is under construction to the west of the 5-story garage
 area with an opening expected in mid-April.  They have also hired additional
 parking staff to assist travelers during the transition.
     To reduce traveler confusion and inconvenience, construction will be done
 in overlapping phases over the next four years.
     "With a project of this magnitude, there will be some minor
 inconveniences, but we have tried to anticipate and prepare for them so that
 the public will be impacted as little as possible," said Carney.  "We'll work
 very hard to ensure safety and convenience and when this renovation is
 completed, we will have a world class facility of which we can all be very
 proud."
     Projected to begin in late summer, Phase 2 plans include expanding the
 terminal from 341,000 square feet and 16 loading gates to 583,000 square feet
 and 25 loading gates.
     New concourses will be built on the east and west and the center of the
 building expands to the north and south.  The existing concourses will be
 demolished.  In addition, all passenger-waiting areas will also be expanded;
 security checkpoints enlarged and relocated and concessions redeveloped and
 accessible after passengers go through the security checkpoint.
     The terminal's north wall will be moved out to allow a 30-foot expansion
 of both the baggage claim and ticket counter areas.  In addition, the roof
 will be raised and large windows added to give the entire building a lighter,
 more open, inviting appearance.  The architectural design combined with native
 stone and ample glass will meet the established criteria to have the airport
 make a distinctive statement about what Oklahoma City represents and reflect
 the state's history and culture.  In addition, a garden plaza is planned for
 outside the terminal.
     The rebuilding project is an outgrowth of a 1998 study done by airport
 consultants Landrum and Brown of Los Angeles, to determine changes needed to
 meet future growth.  The project design team is led by Atkins Benham, Inc. of
 Oklahoma City and includes: Gensler, airport design consultant and associate
 architects of Denver; URS Greiner, airport systems consultant; SI Partners,
 airport concessions consultant; and Rolf Jensen, code consultant.
 
     Q&A
     Will air service increase because of this expansion?
     New or expanded air service could be an indirect result of the
 $100 million renovation.  The decision for airlines to add new routes or
 expand service is based on the number of passengers and the amount or revenue
 that could be generated with that route.  The availability of ticket counters,
 gates and baggage claim areas are also important.  Rebuilding the terminal,
 increasing parking, making it easier for passengers to move through the area
 and providing more passenger amenities should stimulate air traffic in the
 Oklahoma City market, which would, in turn, attract attention of the airlines.
 
     Are taxpayers paying for this expansion?
     No.  While this project does qualify for some federal grants, the first
 two phases of construction will primarily be funded by revenue bonds.  The
 bonds totaling $98 million, were sold in December, 2000.  These bonds will be
 paid with revenues derived from airplane landing fees, airline rent,
 concessions, parking, building and property rents and Passenger Facility
 Charges (PFC).  PFCs are federally authorized fees collected by airlines and
 remitted to airports to fund projects that meet federal requirements.
 Currently a $3 PFC is added to a ticket in Oklahoma City.  The PFC has been in
 place since 1997.
 
     Why have you tripled the parking rates?
     Actually, we haven't.  More than 50 percent of the upper short-term lot
 had to be closed for major renovations.  To make sure the remaining 244 upper
 level spaces were available for those people picking-up and dropping-off
 passengers, the rate recently changed from $8 per day to $1 per hour.  No
 other parking rates were affected.
 
     With those parking spaces lost, where will we park?
     In anticipation of the construction and to offset the reduction of the
 short-term parking spaces, the airport purchased two new shuttle busses that
 will be delivered in mid-April.  We have added 1,600 parking spaces to the
 "north shuttle" lot and a new "covered shuttle" lot west of the 5-story garage
 area has 444 parking spaces with an opening expected in mid-April.
 
     Won't the shuttles take a long time to pick me up?
     The shuttle lots provide outstanding service for the airport parker.  The
 bus picks you up and drops you off right at your car.  We have a spotter on
 duty atop the garage from 5:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. directing shuttle drivers
 during peak times to make sure you are picked up in a timely manner.  In fact,
 drivers usually have travelers picked-up at their car and transported to the
 terminal within 5 to 7 minutes.
 
     How will I access the terminal when the tunnel closes for renovation?
     Travelers will access the terminal via the first or second level of the
 short-term lot.  The tunnel will be updated and skylights added to enhance its
 use.
 
     Can I still park on the lower level of the short-term lot?
     Public parking will be suspended on the lower level of the two-story
 short-term facility.  It will still house rental car parking and provide
 pedestrian access to the terminal when the underground tunnel connecting the
 garage to the terminal is closed in April for improvements.
 
      Will Rogers World Airport Parking Rates:
 
      Hourly Parking            $1/hr     $24/day     244 spaces
      5-Level Parking           $5/day    $25/week  1,380 spaces
      North Shuttle Parking     $4/day    $20/week  2,901 spaces
 
      Coming in late April:
      Covered Shuttle Parking   $5/day    $25/week    444 spaces
 
 

SOURCE Will Rogers World Airport
    OKLAHOMA CITY, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 3.5 million passengers
 passed through Will Rogers World Airport (www.flyokc.com) in 2000.  With local
 air travel expected to double within the next 12 years, airport officials
 announced today the launch of the first phase of a four-year, $100 million
 renovation project.  Roadways and approach ramps leading to the new terminal,
 a new commercial curb, enhanced parking facilities and major improvements to
 the underground tunnel top the project list.
     "We view this modernization of Will Rogers World Airport as the
 beautification of the front door to our city," said Luther E. Trent, director
 of the city's Department of Airports.  "It will enhance economic development
 efforts, prepare us for future growth and make the airport more efficient for
 our travelers and airlines."
     Travelers will immediately notice changes in parking as the airport
 concedes nearly 50-percent of available spaces on both levels of the two-story
 "short-term" parking lot immediately north of the terminal.  This will
 facilitate the extension of the terminal's ticketing counters and baggage
 claim area to the north, construction of new roadways and approach ramps, and
 the installation of new elevators and escalators at the north end of the lot.
 To make sure the remaining 244 upper level spaces were available for people
 picking-up and dropping-off passengers, the rate recently changed from $8 per
 day to $1 per hour.  No other parking rates were affected.
     "We really want to encourage travelers to use the 5-level garage, the
 shuttle parking lot, or our new "covered shuttle lot," said Karen Carney,
 Marketing Coordinator for Will Rogers World Airport.  "The shuttle lot
 provides outstanding service for the parker.  The bus picks you up and drops
 you off right at your car.  We have a spotter on duty atop the garage from
 5:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. assisting shuttle drivers during peak times.  The
 drivers usually have travelers picked-up at their car and transported to the
 terminal within 5 to 7 minutes."
     Although public parking will be suspended on the lower level of the two-
 story short-term facility, it will still house rental car parking and provide
 pedestrian access to the terminal when the underground tunnel connecting the
 garage to the terminal is closed in May for improvements.  The tunnel will be
 updated and skylights added to enhance its use.
     In anticipation of the construction and to offset the reduction of the
 short-term parking spaces, the airport has purchased two new shuttle busses
 that will be delivered in mid-April and have added 1,600 parking spaces to the
 "North Shuttle" lot in late 1999.  In addition, a "Covered Shuttle" lot with
 444 parking spaces is under construction to the west of the 5-story garage
 area with an opening expected in mid-April.  They have also hired additional
 parking staff to assist travelers during the transition.
     To reduce traveler confusion and inconvenience, construction will be done
 in overlapping phases over the next four years.
     "With a project of this magnitude, there will be some minor
 inconveniences, but we have tried to anticipate and prepare for them so that
 the public will be impacted as little as possible," said Carney.  "We'll work
 very hard to ensure safety and convenience and when this renovation is
 completed, we will have a world class facility of which we can all be very
 proud."
     Projected to begin in late summer, Phase 2 plans include expanding the
 terminal from 341,000 square feet and 16 loading gates to 583,000 square feet
 and 25 loading gates.
     New concourses will be built on the east and west and the center of the
 building expands to the north and south.  The existing concourses will be
 demolished.  In addition, all passenger-waiting areas will also be expanded;
 security checkpoints enlarged and relocated and concessions redeveloped and
 accessible after passengers go through the security checkpoint.
     The terminal's north wall will be moved out to allow a 30-foot expansion
 of both the baggage claim and ticket counter areas.  In addition, the roof
 will be raised and large windows added to give the entire building a lighter,
 more open, inviting appearance.  The architectural design combined with native
 stone and ample glass will meet the established criteria to have the airport
 make a distinctive statement about what Oklahoma City represents and reflect
 the state's history and culture.  In addition, a garden plaza is planned for
 outside the terminal.
     The rebuilding project is an outgrowth of a 1998 study done by airport
 consultants Landrum and Brown of Los Angeles, to determine changes needed to
 meet future growth.  The project design team is led by Atkins Benham, Inc. of
 Oklahoma City and includes: Gensler, airport design consultant and associate
 architects of Denver; URS Greiner, airport systems consultant; SI Partners,
 airport concessions consultant; and Rolf Jensen, code consultant.
 
     Q&A
     Will air service increase because of this expansion?
     New or expanded air service could be an indirect result of the
 $100 million renovation.  The decision for airlines to add new routes or
 expand service is based on the number of passengers and the amount or revenue
 that could be generated with that route.  The availability of ticket counters,
 gates and baggage claim areas are also important.  Rebuilding the terminal,
 increasing parking, making it easier for passengers to move through the area
 and providing more passenger amenities should stimulate air traffic in the
 Oklahoma City market, which would, in turn, attract attention of the airlines.
 
     Are taxpayers paying for this expansion?
     No.  While this project does qualify for some federal grants, the first
 two phases of construction will primarily be funded by revenue bonds.  The
 bonds totaling $98 million, were sold in December, 2000.  These bonds will be
 paid with revenues derived from airplane landing fees, airline rent,
 concessions, parking, building and property rents and Passenger Facility
 Charges (PFC).  PFCs are federally authorized fees collected by airlines and
 remitted to airports to fund projects that meet federal requirements.
 Currently a $3 PFC is added to a ticket in Oklahoma City.  The PFC has been in
 place since 1997.
 
     Why have you tripled the parking rates?
     Actually, we haven't.  More than 50 percent of the upper short-term lot
 had to be closed for major renovations.  To make sure the remaining 244 upper
 level spaces were available for those people picking-up and dropping-off
 passengers, the rate recently changed from $8 per day to $1 per hour.  No
 other parking rates were affected.
 
     With those parking spaces lost, where will we park?
     In anticipation of the construction and to offset the reduction of the
 short-term parking spaces, the airport purchased two new shuttle busses that
 will be delivered in mid-April.  We have added 1,600 parking spaces to the
 "north shuttle" lot and a new "covered shuttle" lot west of the 5-story garage
 area has 444 parking spaces with an opening expected in mid-April.
 
     Won't the shuttles take a long time to pick me up?
     The shuttle lots provide outstanding service for the airport parker.  The
 bus picks you up and drops you off right at your car.  We have a spotter on
 duty atop the garage from 5:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. directing shuttle drivers
 during peak times to make sure you are picked up in a timely manner.  In fact,
 drivers usually have travelers picked-up at their car and transported to the
 terminal within 5 to 7 minutes.
 
     How will I access the terminal when the tunnel closes for renovation?
     Travelers will access the terminal via the first or second level of the
 short-term lot.  The tunnel will be updated and skylights added to enhance its
 use.
 
     Can I still park on the lower level of the short-term lot?
     Public parking will be suspended on the lower level of the two-story
 short-term facility.  It will still house rental car parking and provide
 pedestrian access to the terminal when the underground tunnel connecting the
 garage to the terminal is closed in April for improvements.
 
      Will Rogers World Airport Parking Rates:
 
      Hourly Parking            $1/hr     $24/day     244 spaces
      5-Level Parking           $5/day    $25/week  1,380 spaces
      North Shuttle Parking     $4/day    $20/week  2,901 spaces
 
      Coming in late April:
      Covered Shuttle Parking   $5/day    $25/week    444 spaces
 
 SOURCE  Will Rogers World Airport