Omaha, Neb.-- It's been 20 years since Omaha's airport has undergone major improvements. On Tuesday, officials took the first steps looking towards the next 20 years with the unveiling of a $1.2 Billion master plan.
The main focus will be on passenger travel, from the garage to the gate. One of the biggest differences passengers would notice is efficiencies in security and checking in. For example, on the 2nd floor there will be more kiosks made available, and one main TSA check point, potentially with 10 lanes.
The anticipation in waiting for family, uncomfortably, Laurie Stockman stands ready. At least the view is nice. "Nice to actually look at the airplanes, because we've brought our kids up here before to do that, so instead of sitting over there waiting, it would be nice have some seating in that area and sit and wait for relatives,” Stockman said.
That setup could change.
From above at Eppley, passenger travel seemed unaffected by the recession, higher fuel and airline ticket prices that plagued other, similar mid-sized hubs in the United States. So far, the airfield's weathered the storm.
Plans include projected overhauls to the existing parking garages, the main terminal and each of the north and south concourses, gate expansions up to 28. But will be all built as needed, based on demand.
What that means to travelers like Stockman is less anxiety and more family time.
"I think big airports especially; it is like a cattle pen, you are just being herded through,” Bob Dorrough said. Dorrough is a frequent flier out of major airports and said that isn’t always the case. "Omaha, this is our first time here, and this is just easy, it is really easy for us coming off the plane."
It will be several years before travelers will see any noticeable changes. The FAA still needs to look over the plan.