View Full Version : Airport expansion news?

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06-26-2006, 06:20 PM
Does anybody have any idea if the airport expansion is going to be complete in August?

Of course, they have not updated the expansion section of their website for 9 months now, and the last I knew, they pushed back the completion (sans the second concourse) for the 3rd time to August 2006.

Even though it will net only 3 more gates, it will provide a second security checkpoint and a couple more bag claims.

And of course, ultimately it would allow for a bunch more gates is we ever move forward with Phase III.

06-26-2006, 06:43 PM
I was actually at the airport today. We're flying out on a trip tomorrow. Looks like everything will be complete. The only gates, baggage claim, and ticket counters left to open belong to Southwest and Delta. Looks pretty nice.....I'm very impressed with our airport.

06-26-2006, 07:22 PM
Thanks Patrick. As usual, this site provides better info. than our full-time airport marketing director.

I really like the design as well. It will be very nice to wrap everything up and start putting our best face forward to visitors and citizens.

06-26-2006, 09:11 PM
That's pretty sad that I know more than our airport marketing director. LOL Anyways, looked to me like everything would be completed by August.

06-27-2006, 08:32 AM
As usual Karen Carney fails the city again. What is the Airport Trust's deal? Didn't they screen our new airport director better to overcome these problems?

Looks like it's time to send her another round of emails to get the website up to date:

You might want to cc her boss as well:

07-04-2006, 07:46 AM
They finally provided an update on their website, no doubt due to our emails. However, they are now saying LATE FALL for completion, no less than the 4th significant delay and yet another vague time promise that probably still won't be met.

Also, note the snippy tone of the first paragraph:

The final section of Phase II has been underway for the last nine months. Most of the construction has been out of sight of the public with relatively little impact on the airport’s daily operation. Progress is steadily moving along with a target completion date of late fall.

This final piece of the project is substantial. Three additional gates, (which will be Delta Airlines’ permanent location,) a sixth gift shop and a large meeting room will finish out the concourse area. Down below, two additional baggage delivery systems and tug areas are nearing completion.

A second checkpoint will relieve the heavy loads and congestion in the ticket lobby area. Because additional space was available on the east side that was not available for the west checkpoint, the area was modified to enable more queuing in the checkpoint area itself, instead of in the lobby.

Two more bag belts, three rental car counters, two ticket counters and an additional up/down escalator are 90% complete. These areas will open at the same time as the checkpoint and concourse area.

07-04-2006, 10:54 AM
I have been back and forth between OKC and Houston a lot the past month. A couple of times by car and several round-trips by air. I can say that the "new" OKC airport is quite impressive. I recently saw the JD Powers Airport/Airline rankings and Houston Hobby/Dallas Love was tied for first for best medium-sized airports. I can believe it - Hobby is one nice airport. Much easier to navigate than the giant Intercontinental. But Oklahoma City? While small, it's now a place that we can all be proud of. 1000% better than what was there pre-renovations.


07-05-2006, 10:06 AM
Much easier to navigate than the giant Intercontinental

I'd say navigating DFW has gotten much better since they've added Skky Link. I think that's the best upgradew they've made to that airport.

Also, they're in the midst of capping off a multi-billion dollar renovation at DFW. I'll's nice. They have multi-level food court areas now in the terminals, with restaurants and stores like Cantina Laredo, TGI Fridays, Fossil, Brookstone, etc. I was pretty impressed traveling through there yesterday.

07-05-2006, 10:10 AM
Their update was definitely due to our emails, as always. Here is Karen's response back to me:

xxxxx, thanks for the friendly nudge. I have added a short update. I have also asked the webmaster to upload some photos I took today. Hopefully, they will be there by the end of the week.
-----Original Message-----
From: xxxxxx
Sent: Tuesday, June 27, 2006 9:40 AM
To: Carney, Karen
Subject: WRWA website


I was just curious as to when the WRWA website might be updated again. Looks like the last update on construction was back in the early part of last October. Thanks.


07-05-2006, 10:19 AM
In regards to our airport, I'll make a few comments.

It's not bad compared to others our size. But, I think our biggest problem as a city is still maintenance. I noticed that the carpeting in the terminal already looks horribly filthy, and the light fixtures are loaded with bugs. Gross! I know, I'm probably the only one that notices these things, but we really need to stay on top on the little details.

07-05-2006, 10:23 AM
Send them an email about that, Patrick.

I'm sure you are not the only one that notices things like that and there is no use spending millions on renovations if the place isn't going to be properly maintained.

07-05-2006, 10:24 AM
Patrick, I totally agree. You should email Karen Carney and her boss Mark Kranenburg and let them know. Their email addresses are above. I'll do the same as well.

07-05-2006, 10:30 AM
Okay guys, I will send them an email.

By the way, I noticed something else. On the far east side fo the main terminal on the air side, I noticed they have the Bar of 1907, or something like that. I think that's a completely horrible waste of space, IMO.

07-05-2006, 11:02 AM
Here's the email I sent:

Hey Karen,

I just returned yesterday (July 4th) at 12:17PM on American Airlines from a trip we took leaving June 27th to Albuquerque, New Mexico, (connecting at DFW) and driving from there up to the northern New Mexico ski areas for summer fun. I wanted to share my experiences with our airport.

This is my second trip from the new aiport. We took another trip last summer to Hawaii.

The new expansion at our airport is very nice. I love the open air feel, and the huge glass panes. I like the native stone and modern steel look! The gift shops seem to be of superb quality. On leaving at the beginning of our trip, I had a Red Rock Breakfast Burrito at the restaurant near the east side of the concourse. Food was great. No complaints.

I did have a few suggestions from my experiences.

Maintenance of existing improvements seems to be the main issue, and always has been. We seem to have a habit in this city of building facilities, enjoying them for awhile, and then forgetting to maintain them.

Here are some of the things I noticed:

1. We left through Gate 4 and I already noticed over a years time, that the carpet is starting to look incredibly filthy. There were spills and stains on it everywhere. This isn't very attractive to new people coming to our city.

2. All of the flourescent light fixtures were filled with dirt and bugs. Gross.

These are small issues that some people might not notice, but I think it's the small details we need to keep on top of.

I'm not trying to be critical, but instead, trying to give some constructive feedback to try to keep up the great image of our airport.

I hope these comments help and I hope they can be addressed.

Other than that, the airport looks great!

You really can't compare our airport to DFW, although DFW has made some wonderful improvements with their new multi-level food courts and Sky Link.

I suppose you could compare Albuquerque's airport to ours. It's similar in size. I like ours better in the way we have the massive glass sky lights and panels surrounding the concourse. Ours is brighter than theirs. And I like our higher ceilings.

I do still think our airport looks lopsided with only the one west concourse and the terminal. I know we don't need the space now, but finishing the east concourse would sure make our airport look more attractive. Even if the airlines aren't leasing as many gates any longer, having the added space, and maybe spreading out the airlines more might be nicer. That way you wouldn't cram as many people into the tight gate spaces. If we have extra gates that aren't used, so be it. We could always us the space to spread people out more for added comfort, plus we'd have the space to add more gates later if we ever needed them. I say go forward with the East Concourse. Spread the airlines equally across the entire structure, instead of cramming them all into the West Concourse.

Thanks, Patrick, moderator, (

07-05-2006, 11:02 AM
I emailed her and her boss Patrick

07-05-2006, 11:39 AM
Here's why I'm a little ticked with our current airport trust. I just flew back from Albuquerque International Sunport, an airport with a passanger count similar to ours with an airport around 500,000 Square feet. While we're working off a master plan that will carry us through 2012, they've just completed their Master Plan for the next century (Yup, I said Century), which will include a new second teriminal which will bring their capacity to over a million square feet. Note, this city currently has a passenger count of around 3 mill passengers a year (much like ours). And they're predicting that to rise to 7 million over the next century....yup, I said Century. They've already considered moving the airport, demolishing and building a new center facility, or building a 2nd terminal. They've opted to build a 2nd terminal.

While we're thinking 6 years down the road, everyone else is thinking 20-100 years down the road.

This is why we're so far behind as a city.

07-05-2006, 11:41 AM
When you look at the link above, click on the 2nd link on the page, and then scroll to page 4. Zoom in and it shows their current passenger terminal (which is about the size of our new one) and their proposed new 2nd terminal. Wow. Pretty impressive for a city with a metro area of less the 700K folks.

07-05-2006, 11:49 AM
Here's another email I sent:

Hey Karen,

I just returned from Albuquerque International Sunport, and I've done some research on their airport. They have around the same passenger count we do, and their terminal building is about the same size as our new one (500K feet).

I was looking at their master plan. ( It blows my mind that they have a master plan for the next century. Yup, I said century. We're here planning for 2012 and others are planning for 100 years out. Do you think maybe we need to be a little more forward thinking at the airport trust?

Remember, Albuquerque is a town of roughly 700K people, smaller than Tulsa.

If you look at the second link on their master plan and scroll to page 4 you'll see plans for their terminal over the next century. It calls to build a second terminal to double the space they now have. Wow! This is pretty forward thinking for a city with about 700K people.

I think we need to change the way we're thinking here. If from 1960 to 2000 passenger count grew at our airport from 1mill to 3 mill a year, I'm guessing counts may go up to 6 mill by 2040. 40 years seems a long ways off but not really. What we're building now dictates future development. We need to think ahead. We need to start thinking about how we're going to accomodate these 6 million folks NOW! Is it going to be a second terminal? Are we going to add more concourses?
Do we even have a master plan that reaches that far?

If the answer to those questions is no, we need to get on the ball and start thinking ahead a century.

Albuquerque has the right idea. We need to follow their example.

Thanks, Patrick, (

07-05-2006, 11:57 AM
You go, Patrick! :)

All this just serves as a reminder that virtually every city is agressively pursuing urban renewal, conventions & tourists, more jobs and general civic enhancements.

While we all can agree that OKC has come a long way, that in itself is not good enough. We have to do things *better* than comparable or similar cities if any of this will have much meaning outside of our own community.

We've done a good job but we are now being leap-frogged by other cities so it's time to start thinking even more agressively!

07-05-2006, 12:15 PM
The sad thing is we're being leap-frogged by cities half our size.

07-05-2006, 12:17 PM
I encourage you to forward your emails to the airportusing the typical city email address

07-05-2006, 08:29 PM
We need to keep in mind the tourism of ABQ is FAR greater than OKC at this point. The traffic generated during ski season and the various festivals really help bolster the traffic through that airport. As OKC itself continues to develop as a tourist destination, it'll get better.

Yes some airports may be planning far ahead, but realistically only 10-20 years makes sense. We saw what a 9/11 event did to air transportation...its taken 5 years to recover. OKC is doing their planning the right way, as we don't know what will happen. There is no sense in having this huge terminal and only 30% of it used. We don't want to be another Pittsburgh and have a beautiful airport just rotting away.

07-06-2006, 12:00 AM
Yeah, Albuquerque does have more tourism appeal, but traffic counts between the 2 airports is similar so it's easy to compare.

07-06-2006, 09:09 AM
Yeah I agree with both of you. I think we need to be more forward thinking at the airport trust than has been shown. However, I think planning 100 years in advance is too much also. After all in 100 years, will we still be using the traditional airplane? Somehow I think huge advances in technology and nanotechnology will revolutionize the industry as we now know it.

07-06-2006, 09:32 AM
Thinking 40 years into the future might be more appropriate. Afterall, we're comparing our recent expansion to the expansion that took place in the 60's.

07-06-2006, 09:57 AM
Yes, but we're forgetting two advances that the world did not see 40 or even 10 years ago. Huge huge advances in nanotechnology and the internet, neither alive back in the 60's and 70's boom. I guess some could argue the internet was technically "invented" in the 70's although it was nothing even close to what it is now or in the late 90's.

We already have tomorrow's technology, we're just still learning it, figuring it out, and perfecting it. They say by the year 2012 that human knowledge will double every year due to huge advancements in science and biomedical.

07-07-2006, 08:28 AM
If ABQ has a master plan that goes 100 years into the future, that's absurd. Sure, I agree it's a plan and only a plan until it's implemented, but it doesn't make sense to plan that far into the future.

Traffic counts between different airports doesn't matter. I used to do that same thing, comparing traffic counts of OKC with those of AUS (back in the late 90's), and guess what, it was completely wrong to do that. Traffic is wholly determined by demographics and the number of businesses in your city that use the airport and how much they use the airport. Just because ABQ has similar traffic figures doesn't at all mean that OKC should also have a masterplan that includes a second terminal.

Also, I've said this before, but the current design of the new terminal allows for plenty of expansion/more gates etc then we'll ever need atleast 20 years from now. Even after the East Concourse is built, there's still room for more expansion, no need for a second terminal. Terminals are designed to accomodate growth well into the future, which also reduces the cost of expansion (new terminals cost a lot more than just adding on to an existing terminal).

07-07-2006, 08:49 AM
OUman, other than the East Concourse -- which would add about 10-12 gates -- how else could the existing terminal be expanded?

I suppose they could elongate either or both concourses but I'm curious if that was considered in the design and/or where the other expansion would come.

07-07-2006, 01:43 PM
The east concourse will add only eight gates. That could be expanded more, and after that, another concourse could perhaps be added pointing south from the central terminal. I don't know the master plan for OKC, but usually, airports make the most use of space to expand existing terminals before considering new terminals. A southward facing concourse is easily possible at OKC since you have all that open ramp space south of the main terminal, and would allow for more gates. I know a few airports around the country opened new concourses like that as the need arose, e.g. Milwaukee General Mitchell Airport expanded its terminal like that.


07-07-2006, 04:22 PM
I personally don't feel confident that the current constuction allows from more than the as-planned East Concourse.

Yes, lots of things *could* be done, but that's much different that planning for growth as part of what they are doing now.

07-07-2006, 07:50 PM
Like I said, terminals are designed to alow for more expansion, I don't see any reason that this design won't allow that. Designers usually have tricks up their sleeves when it comes to expanding terminals. Take Philadelphia International's Concourse D. They added a rectangular addition to the existing concourse which added 5-6 more gates. Anyway, we really don't need to worry about new concourses etc until 2012 atleast, especially now that we'll have three empty gates once DL/DL Conn move to their new gates. And then eight more gates coming with the remaining concourse.


07-08-2006, 08:23 AM
If in fact OKC and ABQ have similar traffic counts, why such a huge discrepancy in cities served non-stop on Southwest Airlines?

From OKC:
Dallas Love
Houston Hobby
Las Vegas
Kansas City
St. Louis

From ABQ:
Dallas Love
Houston Hobby
Las Vegas
Kansas City
St. Louis
El Paso
San Diego
Los Angeles LAX
Salt Lake City
Chicago Midway
Tampa Bay

07-08-2006, 09:19 AM
Southwest hasn't cared to expand OKC in years. They are doing play the market share game out east for awhile and of course moan and complain about the Love Field issue. Their newest route...4 times a day on Detroit-Baltimore. Big Deal? Airtran and Northwest already fly it several times a day.

Comparing each airline...

ABQ - Chicago and Dallas
OKC - Chicago, Dallas, and St. Louis

ABQ - Houston
OKC - Houston and Newark

ABQ - Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Salt Lake City
OKC - Atlanta, Cincinnati, Orlando, and SLC

ABQ - Denver
OKC - Denver

Great Lakes
ABQ - Silver City and Clovis
OKC - None

Mesa Airlines
ABQ - Colorado Springs, Hobbs, Clovis, Carlsbad, Roswell, Farmington, Silver City, and Gallup.
OKC - None

ABQ - Minneapolis
OKC - Detroit, Memphis, and Minneapolis

ABQ - Dallas, Phoenix, El Paso, Lubbock, Midland, Baltimore, Portland, Seattle, SLC, Las Vegas, LAX, St. Louis, Chicago, Orlando, San Diego, Oakland, Houston, Kansas City, Amarillo, Tucson, and Tampa.
OKC - Dallas, Phoenix, Houston, St. Louis, Kansas City, and Las Vegas.

ABQ - Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Antonio, and Chicago.
OKC - Denver, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Antonio, and New Orleans.

US Airways
ABQ - Phoenix and Las Vegas
OKC - Phoenix and Las Vegas

I didn't include anything with charter airlines as those vary year round. Most of the old Southwest network in ABQ is meant to allow a lot of through traffic to do the old one-stop direct flight game. However, when you have the majority of market share you can do what you want.

OKC has a good mix, but there are some opportunities. I would like to see more regional air service, like ABQ, to connect the state through OKC. Right now Ponca City and Enid have air service that goes to Denver. Why not attempt to connect the state through OKC? I'm not say a ton of flights...but cities like Woodward and those in the Southeast, that are away from any major highway network - it takes nearly 3 hours to get to. The other market of course is connecting the rest of the major business centers to OKC...which is slowly being done.

One thing to watch is the Love Field agreement that will open the door for Southwest to fly anywhere, but also reduce gates. We may very well take the hit here.

07-08-2006, 11:56 AM
Actually the reason the new airport was reconfigured and the old airport demolished was to allow for a more expandable structure. The west and east concourses can be expanded further west and east respectively, and north and south concourses can be interspersed between each one.

Albuquerque's plan is really only for 25 years, but they're looking at all options.

07-08-2006, 04:19 PM
I see no reason why another concourse could not be built perpandicular to the current terminal as the need arises. Like this:


07-09-2006, 11:53 AM
I see no reason why another concourse could not be built perpandicular to the current terminal as the need arises. Like this:


The existing structure is very expandable, allowing a structure like this

) ----------


Existing structure is in bold blue.

07-09-2006, 02:15 PM
Patrick, where did you read that such expansion was considered in the current redevelopment?

07-10-2006, 11:41 AM

I wrote Karen again regarding the maintenance issues and she said:

[I]xxxxxx, We are trying to address some of the janitorial issues you have described. As far as the carpet stains, the janitorial staff has tried repeatedly to get them out. We actually had the carpet vendor out last week to discuss some alternatives for getting out the stains. Hopefully, progress will be made on that front.
Regarding the lights, our maintenance manager discussed the issue with janitorial, so that should be taken care of soon.

07-10-2006, 01:16 PM
Considering Karen is the Marketing Director from the airport, you think she could slip in "thanks for your concern", "we appreciate you bringing this to our attention", etc.

Instead, the tone of her communication -- even on the website -- is like she's being put out by having to communicate with others.

She certainly does not seem to be a good fit for that job.

07-10-2006, 04:03 PM
No kidding. Bad PR for sure. What if I was a CEO from out of state looking to relocate. I realize janitorial issues are not her concern but in my email, I made sure to tell her I realize these are not areas of her expertise but perhaps she could pass them along to the maintenance crew and have someone contact me. Instead her responses are always on the defense.

07-12-2006, 02:32 AM
Maybe with our continued efforts of "doing her job" by informing her of the airport's this and that, she will eventually get the message and get better at it herself.

Its sort of like the lazy teenager syndrome: sure he works at McDonalds and at first half-assed makes burgers, but that's because the boss just stuck him there and said - make burgers. Now, take that same teenager (Karen) and have the boss (us) work with her on the issues/problems we have with her and her burgers, she'll improve to satisfy us - initially, then finally - she'll improve to satisfy herself.

Anyways, that's my food for thought. It's surprising that we have this analogy for the Major Airport Marketing Director of a MAJOR US CITY - but then again, it might be pretty relevant given the emails then her "immediate" correction.

07-12-2006, 03:03 AM
As for the ABQ-OKC issues raised above, I have some trouble with some of Venture's argument (or was it OUMan). No offense.

I mean, he mentioned that ABQ has a different clientel than OKC and that airports cator to the business community - what they demand. Well, I'd not be the first one to disagree in the first that ABQ has a bigger and better/more affluent business community than OKC. OKC is much more of a business centre in the world than ABQ.

What holds OKC back is 1) having multiple airports in the state to compete with and 2) lackluster regional business interests.

I love to read travel sites like TripAdvisor (yeah, Im sort of an OKC booster) to find all of the people traveling to the city for business. If only we could get the hospitality industry and hoteliers in OKC to visit those sites - to see what is being said about them/their service, I think we could drastically and immediately improve the image of OKC further - plus have return visits from those travelers, as all of them seem to agree that OKC has many attractions and is worth the visit/business but the hotels are dodgy and inconsistent.

Nevertheless, ABQ does not have a Tulsa International (which also gets PAX from Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas by the way) and Lawton to compete with. Nor does it have a Denver to Ponca City flight scenario with its only other major city in the state, Santa Fe. In fact, Santa Fe pax are routed through ABQ (then most drive up).

Just look at the skylines of the two cities and you should agree that OKC has a much more robust business community. So we wont even go there.

Now, the other thing that ABQ has going for it is Tourism. In fact, I would bet that over 75% of its traffic is tourism based whereas the same figure would be business travel here. With that argument, why would airlines fly to OKC in smaller planes only to have pax bumped and passed up to/from the city?? These are business pax, who would gladly pay for a first or business class ticket if they could in order to catch a same day flight pair DTW-OKC for example. Why is the airline assuming OKC would only have transient traffic on the route, thus using only a single medium sized regional jet for the route (never an upgrade to mainliner on heavy travel days)?? And the travel hours not very conducive for business conducted in either city on a same day trip itenerary (sp).

I question whether the proper analysis of OKC is being done, especially (as others have noted) that you have other routes that sit more empty on larger planes just so airlines can route them through their hubs. I mean, couldnt OKC be "guaranteed" a 737-700 (smallest of the fuel efficient next gen 737s) or A319 on routes to business centres like Chicago, Los Angeles, and Denver? The pax numbers are there? and those are hub cities - so they could even do a Tulsa to OKC to Los Angeles scenario with a 757. ..

I know they do creative routings like this with Portland and Seattle, why not here? Sure those airports are much bigger and business communities are as well. But once you factor per capita, it just about evens out - yet they'll use a large aircraft (767) on that routing (PDX-SEA-DTW for example) where the plane is 20% full out of PDX then only 60% full out of SEA (as most of the PDXers got off in SEA) and not even do a small efficient mainliner for a say, ,, TUL-OKC-SFO route??

Im sure we'd have the pax between the two cities, plus you'd open up no less than 3 city pairs (OKC-TUL, OKC-SFO, TUL-SFO).

And, what about using OKC as the focal point of the state (not to mention region)? How come there is NO airline that offers nonstop service to Wichita, even though you and I all know the amount of people from up there that come here for business (and lately, pleasure)? Yet not one airline, "i'd expect United to come in with its regional network with at least one route ICT-OKC-DEN" on a CRJ800. .. That would open up all three markets (esp ICT) and give pax more options, not to mention get people out of their cars (pathetic).

Anyways, I wish the cost of jet fuel were not so high (and the capital costs of operating an airliner/insuring it) were not as expensive, as I'd love to follow Harmony Airlines (out of Vancouver) example and open a privately owned limited service airline out of OKC with key nonstops. Post on Harmony from SSP ( *scroll to the post from Phesto #167.

This airport (and city) has so much potential. Maybe not DFW but nonetheless, it has more potential than the powers-that-be give it. And I dont care what the "statutes of limitations" or "diminishing margins of utility" arguments the airport trust gives us, We had a plan to rebuild the airport with an East and West concourse with Central Terminal in a wing configuration. Instead, we got a 'wounded bird' and the same old people who aren't being held accountable!!! Heck, couldn't we have kept the original config - yet done the "airness" improvements to it?? We would have the SAME space as we have now (less than 350K sq ft) yet we'd have no less than 17 available gates spaced OUT!!!

I too flew into OKC recently and noticed the CRAMMED effect. Why not utilize the space and today's dollars!!! and build the dang East Concourse: leasing out gates as they are needed. Patrick's idea makes total sense, instead of cramming into the West - put United in the East and lower the gate fees so Frontier can get its own gate instead of sharing it.

07-13-2006, 10:13 PM
Hot Rod, good points. I'll try to explain from my perspective (and Venture or anyone else can correct me) on each of your points:

-> OKC competes with only two other airports in the state for pax traffic-TUL and LAW. Traffic to/from Ponca City and Enid is a fraction of the total traffic going in/out of the state. That being said, OKC pulls in traffic from a large area, which is not densely populated. Before the GM plant was closed, NW Airlink Mesaba had two dailies with RJ 85's. After the closing, I bet business traffic fell on the route and since the RJ 85's are being dumped out of Mesaba's fleet, you now have a daily CRJ 200. If the 85's were still around, they might still be flying once daily between OKC and DTW.

-> Airlines don't assume anything. They can overlook traffic figures as I think has happened in the case of OKC, but they'll never assume anything. An airline operating in the U.S. has to look at at least 100+ cities. In the end, it will add service where the yield looks to be the greatest. And just recently, at-risk flying has been started by Trans States and some other commuter lines, so there's more oppurtunity there, but right now, airlines are trying to maximize load factors, if they can get 95% load factors with just one flight a day, they're gonna do it.

-> No airport can be "guaranteed" any type of aircraft on any particular route. Airlines were forced to do that back in the days of regulations, but of course, fares were too high. Deregulation brought about a big change, and that's why we see so many people travelling today. Airlines look carefully at the market, then decide what aircaft is suitable depending on availability.

-> Skylines have nothing to do with air service or economy. Austin's skyline isn't all that majestic or anything, yet last year it had 7.6 million passengers that used the airport there. Business traffic really makes a difference! Yet, the entire metropolitan population of Austin is similar to that of OKC's.

-> TUL-OKC-LAX would do well if Tulsa passengers willingly flew to Oklahoma City first, sat in the plane for 45 minutes then went on to LAX. But even then, a 757-200 probably wouldn't be profitable anyway. Besides, people like nonstops, and Tulsa passengers would like the same. Same goes for TUL-OKC-SFO. Multi-stop flights have gradually been phased out over the last 10-15 years, people want more and more nonstops. Which is also partly the reason for the explosion in RJ service.

-> Last I checked, there are no 767's between PDX and SEA, the largest aircraft on that route was a 757-200 by NW. PDX-SEA is a high-density route, but it mainly gets 737's and smaller RJ's/turboprops from Alaska and Horizon. Besides, with the conditon the industry is in thes days, you can bet that if a certain aircraft is going out even a little empty, the aircraft will definitely be downgraded, or the flight cut out completely if there's no smaller aircraft available.

-> Again, we didn't get a "wounded bird." Building a concourse and letting it idle and empty isn't good. The east concourse will be built as and when it's needed. Airports don't build concourses just because the plan called for it-the market changes and airports have to respond to those changes. You can't build a concourse/terminal and let it idle. Besides, I don't know where you heard Frontier Jet Express and United are sharing gates, because they're not, and secondly, sharing gates is much more common than you think. Frontier Jet Express now has its own gate, it was sharing it with Allegiant, which is now out of the market. And there's nothing wrong with sharing gates, if a gate is only handling a few flights a day, airlines will often share gates. It has nothing to do with fees, in fact, OKC has one of the lowest gate fees around. Also, United and United Express have two gates all to themselves. They don't need any more gates for just 8-10 flights a day, when just one can handle 8 flights a day at least. The way OKC is being expanded right now, it's a pretty good track to take.

-> Have the original layout? No way, I'd much prefer the way it is now, the new terminal is so much better than the old one. Besides, how would you widen the old concourses while keeping pax and aircraft ops going? Can't be done.

07-15-2006, 08:37 AM
They finally added a few new construction pictures to the website. It says "late fall" completion (which represents yet anothe significant delay) and from the looks of things they still have a long way to go:

07-17-2006, 10:28 AM
Anybody read the Q&A article in the Sunday Oklahoman with Mark Kranenburg, what a joke! The article basically provided us no new information and made him look good for what Luther Trent basically accomplished.

07-17-2006, 01:42 PM
I posted it on this thread:

Kranenburg may turn out to be good, but I was worried when he was hired and I've seen/read nothing that has changed my opinion.

I'd feel much better with someone with a proven background of growing commerical aviation and that isn't a crony of the old guard at the airport trust.

07-17-2006, 01:43 PM
Airport director thinks city coming into its own

By Julie Bisbee
Mark Kranenburg's return to Oklahoma City has been sort of a homecoming. After leaving Oklahoma City for a job in southern California, Kranenburg returned to work for a man who offered him his first job in civil aviation.
Kranenburg, director of airports for the city of Oklahoma City, took over Luther Trent's job when Trent retired last year. Since November, Kranenburg has navigated the airport through the last stages of a massive construction project and has begun the process of developing the area surrounding the airport.

While he admits he rarely has time to read anything but e-mails, it hasn't been all work. An avid fisherman, Kranenburg loves to travel. But as the airport keeps him busy, he's likely to be fishing in the creek behind his house in south Oklahoma City.

"I probably need to develop more hobbies," he said jokingly.

His dogs, Abby and Maizie, might not agree. They're getting the rest of his attention.

"I don't have any kids at home. I just have a couple of schnauzer puppies," Kranenburg said. "It's just me and my wife and we kind of dote on them."

Kranenburg recently discussed his career and goals for the airport with The Oklahoman. The following is an edited transcript.

You worked for Oklahoma City before becoming director of airports here last fall. Tell me a little bit about your background.

I've been in aviation all my life. I've been an air traffic controller in the Air Force and an air traffic controller with the FAA. When I got out of the military I elected to use the degree in aviation management and pursue a career in it. I was hired in Oklahoma City in 1993. I was promoted up to general aviation manager, running Wiley Post and Clarence Page airport for seven years. In 2002, I relocated to southern California to be the assistant director for the county of San Bernadino, helping to run the six-county airport system. After two and a half years I applied for a job that opened up at the city of Riverside. Riverside is a corporate reliever airport and I had a chance to run my own shop. When this job came open, I thought it was a good opportunity to come back.

Where were you stationed with the Air Force? What was that like?

I was stationed at Vance Air Force Base doing air traffic control. I was also at Dover Air Force Base (in Delaware). I also spent three years at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. I was actually there when we were launching strike packages during the First Gulf War. That was a really interesting time.

You said you were an air traffic controller for the FAA. Did you have to take a pay cut to leave?

I was caught up in the strike in 1981 and was only in for about a year and a half. I just got caught up in that strike and was actually terminated by President Reagan. So I went back into the military as an air traffic controller and completed my degree.

When you came here in November, what were some of the things that seemed more challenging than others?

By 2005, the airport construction was pretty much under control. We only had a few issues that we were working out with the engineer and contractor to try to resolve. We are scheduled to be completed by September of this year. We want to make sure we come in on time.

Next, we want to try to see what we can do to maximize development at the airport, both aviation and non-aviation. We have over 8,000 acres, about 2,000 is vacant. The other thing that we are focusing on would be air service. We're trying to target airlines that we can go visit, and so we can try to show some people that the numbers are there in certain markets. We will still want to try to seek nonstop service to certain cities.

How do you convince airlines in the middle of bankruptcy or battling high fuel prices that its in their best interest to add another route?

They want to be profitable and Oklahoma City is growing. That's one of the things that I saw after being gone. I know it like the back of my hand, and it had changed over night. Now people are even living downtown. Coming from California, I can tell you that traffic is not an issue. You have clean air, you have quality of life issues. The airport is now doing its fair share. The synergy is just great. It's often the first thing people see when they come into the city. We are really a city that's coming into our own. It's quite a renaissance, and I think the 'Okie' is finally getting taken out of the Oklahoma City.

09-26-2006, 09:11 AM
We are scheduled to be completed by September of this year. We want to make sure we come in on time.

It's now almost October and I assume the airport construction is still not complete.

Has anybody been by there lately to offer an update?

Of course, their website is no help and hasn't been updated since the last time we all complained about it.

09-26-2006, 09:58 AM
I was there last weekend. For the most part it's done. There is less going on at this point than in most airports you go to these says. There seems to be some loose ends here and there, but nothing that is affecting traffic flow too much. Now, I believe they were supposed to open another security check point. I did not see that.

09-26-2006, 10:33 AM
The second security checkpoint will be opening soon, from the photos posted recently on the website, it's coming along (the area is likely sealed off from the public, which is why you didn't see it). That along with three new gates for DL and DL Conn, a new gift shop and the renovated/expanded baggage claim will be opening before the year's end. I'm wondering though whether this includes the expansion to the Mahogany Lounge I had read in this forum.

09-26-2006, 10:48 AM
Yes, there's a whole section (2nd security check point, more gates, etc.) that is been under construction and away from the rest of the airport.

This is the last phase of the current expansion and that's what they promised to have complete by September, after pushing back the date no less than 3 times.

It sounds like they will miss yet another one of their promises and continue to do a bad job of communicating with the public.

09-26-2006, 11:14 AM
OK, I guess there is more going on behind the scenes than I noticed right now.

09-27-2006, 11:50 AM
I was there a couple of weeks ago flying, and they definitely still have that east end of the main terminal to finish. There is still a big temporary wall at that end of the terminal.

09-27-2006, 05:09 PM
Honest there isn't a huge rush to get this part of the terminal running. Delta is down to one mainline flight a day and the other 9 or 10 flights are CRJs. Granted they are also in a period of breathing room as Q3 is typically one of the slowest air travel periods of the year.

09-27-2006, 05:58 PM
They need to get all that open before the holidays, especially the 2nd security check point which will be significantly large.

And just as important is finally finishing this, which has been delayed numerous times.

09-27-2006, 07:36 PM
According the project plan, the expansion was supposed to support growth up until 2012. Does anyone realize this is just 6 years away. I always thought it was stupid to spend 6 years upgrading the airport to a level that only last 6 years. And this included the unbuilt concourse. It is better than nothing - but bearly.

09-30-2006, 03:15 PM
According the project plan, the expansion was supposed to support growth up until 2012. Does anyone realize this is just 6 years away. I always thought it was stupid to spend 6 years upgrading the airport to a level that only last 6 years. And this included the unbuilt concourse. It is better than nothing - but bearly.

Yes, but that was before the attacks and was based on traffic growth figures by 1999-2000 standards. Although nothing official has been released, I would bet OKC's pax traffic numbers would reach the "critical number" much later than originally thought. Remember that when this project was only announced, even before the first foundation for the west concourse was laid, OKC had just reached about 3.5 million in 2000. It is only now that we're back up there again (2005 figures) and unless we get a big boom in business and tonnes more high-paying jobs, the main terminal and west concourse should be plenty. Think about it.

10-01-2006, 09:26 PM
Fine - it seems that spending 6 years to only have room for 11 years is a waste of time. If places like Atlanta Hartsfield and DFW only planned 12 years out, there wouldn't be places like Hartsfield and DFW. Not saying it all has to be built at once but a 20-year comprehensive plan would be nice. Atleast you wouldn't end up with a piece-meal airport which is where I think WRWA is headed.

You only have to look at Phoenix Skyharbor to see what bad planning can do. They didn't even come close to planning for all of the growth they had. It is a very busy airport but looks like a five year old put it together. Atlanta on the other hand has to be one of the best planned airports in the world. These things don't happen by accident.

If you plan to be small, then you just might stay small.

10-01-2006, 10:46 PM
I must say if Phase III ever does happen OKC will be one of the nicest airports its size anywhere. It is an amazingly nice facility and I always enjoy flying into and out of OKC. Just like I never will feel as if OU's stadium is complete without the south end zone bowled in or a complete renovation of the west side to match the new east, Will Rogers will never feel complete until Phase III is finished. Like at OU, who knows when those things will happen. Maybe the next mayor should make this a priority? It could help OKC land more routes, like US Airways to Charlotte, United to San Francisco and Washington Dulles, American to Miami, jetBlue to New York, and Alaska to Seattle, to name a few...

10-02-2006, 08:41 AM
Fine - it seems that spending 6 years to only have room for 11 years is a waste of time. If places like Atlanta Hartsfield and DFW only planned 12 years out, there wouldn't be places like Hartsfield and DFW. Not saying it all has to be built at once but a 20-year comprehensive plan would be nice. Atleast you wouldn't end up with a piece-meal airport which is where I think WRWA is headed.

You only have to look at Phoenix Skyharbor to see what bad planning can do. They didn't even come close to planning for all of the growth they had. It is a very busy airport but looks like a five year old put it together. Atlanta on the other hand has to be one of the best planned airports in the world. These things don't happen by accident.

If you plan to be small, then you just might stay small.

All those other airports that you mentioned-ATL, PHX, DFW-are in urban centers with a lot more businesses and have either greater population, or business traffic or are major tourist destinations or a combination of two or all three of those. Also remember it depends on demographics. Why did we lose the Orlando flights when other cities our size have at least one daily mainliner there? We didn't even have a mainliner, we lost the only CRJ flight! Just goes to show that OKC needs to get more passengers going through, yes, maybe the marketing also needs to be stepped up, but a tourist destination like Orlando should do well regardless. And to prove my point-just look at the OKC-LAS flights. And Allegiant left because of its "use it or lose it" strategy. Although the market was over-saturated as well when Southwest started daily service.

Also, the same airports didn't build facilities until the need arose-read the history pages on the airport websites like ATL's and DFW's. It's only when traffic started growing by leaps and bounds that they resorted to building new terminals. You're mentioning ATL-a airport that has 87 million passengers a year and OKC-a little more than 3.5 mil a year.

Airports don't plan to be small or big-they plan for the expected traffic volume. Just so happens that OKC's expected volume is small compared to other airports.

Btw, Venture, how big a market is Miami for Oklahoma City? Just curious as to whether we have the traffic for a daily RJ flight. I'm guessing it's small though, considering Orlando didn't work out.