Sunshine in store for Memorial Day weekend

Oklahoma City airport to add observation deck, four gates and new restaurant

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Cross Grain Brewhouse opened at Will Rogers World Airport Wednesday, giving visitors a sneak peek of what's to come.

"We're creating a much larger space and almost a new focus of the terminal building,” Mark Kranenburg, airports director, said.

This is the first time we're viewing design plans for the $86 million expansion project.

One feature includes bringing back an observation desk where the public can watch their loved ones take off on their destination.

"After 9/11, we couldn't do that anymore, but airports around the country are starting to bring back observation galleries,” Kranenburg said.

"It will be suspended from the structure above so it will look like it's floating over the space. Glass enclosed for security, but they'll have full view,” Rick Johnson, COO of Frankfurt Short Bruza architecture firm, said.

The cargo area on the east side of the airport will be demolished.

Once that's finished, four more gates will be added to the airport, and they're hoping that will bring more airlines into Oklahoma City.

"What we're trying to do is to create the opportunity to have more gates by either new carriers or incumbent carriers,” Kranenburg said.

Part of attracting new airlines is the plan to consolidate the three current check points into one larger one.

"As TSA evolves in their screening technology and procedure, things change all of the time and that's been a big problem for us in our existing checkpoints is that they're so limited in space,” Kranenburg said.

“Sometimes we can't accommodate the changes that TSA wants to make and I think that hurts the passenger to some degree,” he said.

Construction will begin next year and is expected to be complete in 2018.

Eventually, an east concourse will be built that will match the length of the current airport terminal.

The airport expansion is paid for through bonds and an FAA grant.​