Omaha’s Eppley Airfield could get $500M rebuild

Nebraska News
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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Omaha Airport Authority is preparing to move forward with a $500 million reconstruction of Eppley Airfield.

The project to rebuild the terminal within five years would overhaul its concourse, airline gates, security checkpoints, ticket counters and baggage claim, the Omaha World-Herald reported.

The Airport Authority is working with contractors to create a preliminary design for the terminal by this fall.

The plans come as Eppley Airfield sees steady passenger growth and airline investments. Airlines scheduled a record of more than 6 million seats to fly through Eppley last year. They also have doubled the number of nonstop flights from the airport since 2013.

“It’s really an exciting time for Omaha,” said Dave Roth, the authority’s executive director.

Officials are planning to issue long-term revenue bonds to fund the reconstruction. The bonds will be paid back through the airport’s revenue and a federal passenger facility fee.

Though plans for the terminal’s new layout haven’t been settled, officials have discussed removing the split concourses and dual security checkpoints to unify the flow of travelers through one linear terminal. Travelers would access their gates by passing through a consolidated security checkpoint through the center of the airport.

The layout could present an opportunity for Eppley to improve its concessions and retail areas.

The project would occur in stages, beginning with an initial renovation and expansion. The north and south concourses would be extended once the airport reaches 7 million passengers.

Roth said officials have prepared ways to abandon the project before construction, should the economy or passenger activity not be as strong as anticipated.

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