OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — You can expect to see changes at Omaha's Eppley Airfield this summer.
"About 5 years from now, this facility should have a totally different look," Eppley Air Service and Business Development Director Steve McCoy said.
Eppley representatives say they want to make flying out of Omaha a more enjoyable experience for travelers.
"The beauty of it, [is] it's easy to get in and out all the time," Traveler Zach Rosol said. I appreciate that coming from other airports, but when you go upstairs you don't recognize any of the restaurants, so considering some of the other amenities at smaller airports this could definitely use an upgrade."
One of the first changes many will notice is the new North Parking Garage.
"We began the new North garage and rental car facility in 2017," McCoy said. That will be completed later this summer, we'll be opening that up adding 2,000 new stalls, covered parking, as well one thousand stalls of ready return rental car spaces to truly enhance the customer service here at the airport."
McCoy says the airport completed a comprehensive master plan for expansion in 2013.
He tells us, it's a demand-based master plan to see what the airport needs in the future, based on its current level of activity.
"That expansion will include centralized security checkpoints, centralized concourses, [and] baggage claims checkpoint to gain some efficiencies," he said.
McCoy says about 5 million passengers came through Eppley last year, it's highest number since the 90s.
Traverls we spoke say it's time for some upgrades.
"You go to other airports and they're much more lively," Lori Rodriguez said. They have so much more than Omaha ever even has, it's almost like we're in elementary here and they have, you know graduated to college."
Even with all the changes to come, McCoy says their goal is to keep the functionality of the airport, because travels don't have an issue getting in and out.
"The only reason why I like it like that is because the slower moving people (that are not from here) can get to here and not feel like Atlanta where it's just ...everything," Rodriguez said. But, change is good.
As construction continues, and the summer travel season ramps up, McCoy recommends travelers give themselves extra time to make it to their gates.
The first phase of the airport expansion (the garage and rental facility) is expected to open later this summer.