Oct. 11--It's not highly visible, but beneath Concourse A at Tulsa International Airport the first stage of a renovation is underway.
The work, under the west concourse, involves office space for American Airlines.
Next, just after the busy Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Delta Air Lines will move to the other side of the airport and crews will wall off the area and start heavy construction to transform the concourse.
That will mark the true beginning of a major project.
"It will be almost exactly like Concourse B when it's finished," said airport marketing director Alexis Higgins.
The Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust is spending about $23 million on the project to renovate the western part of the airport's terminal space. The project is paid for by passenger facility charges on each airline ticket out of the airport.
Tulsa International finished the remodel of its east concourse, or Concourse B, last year -- a $29.5 million project that opened up the airline gate areas, added skylights and brought in new seating with technological upgrades. Electrical and heating and air conditioning systems also were upgraded.
The result was a brighter, more open and friendly space, leaving the unimproved portion starkly darker and drearier.
After the latest work is completed, the airport should have an almost entirely new terminal space for the first time in decades.
The older concourse is home to Delta Air Lines and American Airlines. When the project is finished, American will move to the north end of Concourse B, while Delta will occupy the south end.
The military lounge will also get a makeover.
During construction, Delta will move across the airport to Concourse A, and American will move to the southern end of the concourse that's under construction.
Crews will perform the concourse renovation in two phases, spending about nine months on the northern portion, then opening that up late next year for the new American Airlines area.
After that, construction crews will start on the other half, which will eventually host Delta and one gate for Allegiant Airlines. The entire project should be done by late 2015.
Some retail properties will close during the construction, such as Camille's Sidewalk Cafe and the CNBC store. The airport is working with Camille's to open a kiosk area with refrigerated sandwiches and other items during the construction. The airport has been in a constant state of construction during the last three years, starting with the Concourse B renovations, followed by reconstruction of the airport's main runway and an upgrade to the baggage handling system that will bring it up to federal security standards. The runway will be under reconstruction through late 2014.
And sometime in the next two years airport officials hope to start work on an expanded parking area to accommodate more vehicles and expanded rental car operations.
Kyle Arnold 918-581-8380
Tulsa International Airport concourse construction schedule
August 2013: Start work on Delta and American offices, receive three new jet bridges
December 2013: Move Delta to Concourse B, begin construction on north section of Concourse A
Third quarter 2014: Finish north section, start work on southern half of concourse
Third quarter 2015: Complete Concourse A renovations
Copyright 2013 - Tulsa World, Okla.
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