Will Rogers World Airport ( IATA: OKC, ICAO: KOKC, FAA LID: OKC), also known as Will Rogers Airport or simply Will Rogers, is located in southwestern Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 6 miles (8 km) from downtown and is the principal commercial airport of the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area. The airport is named in honor of comedian and legendary cowboy Will Rogers, an Oklahoma native, and holds the distinction of being named after a person who died in an airplane crash (as does the city's other major airport, Wiley Post Airport - both men died in the same crash). Will Rogers World Airport is unusual in that it is the only airport to use the designation "World," and that its name makes no reference to its city location. Although it offers some customs and immigration services, it has no international destinations. In 2010, over 3.46 million passengers passed through Will Rogers World Airport, up 2.4% over 2009. It is Oklahoma's busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic and its busiest cargo airport in terms of pounds of cargo carried, with over 68.5 million pounds of cargo carried in 2010.

During World War II, Will Rogers Field was a major training facility for the United States Army Air Forces. Many fighter and bomber units were activated and received their initial training there. Known USAAF groups stationed at Will Rogers Field were:
  • 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy) Jul 1942 - 28 August 1942
  • 46th Bombardment Group (Light) Nov 1942 - October 1943
  • 47th Bombardment Group (Light) 16 February 1942 - 18 July 1942
  • 48th Bombardment Group (Light) 22 May 1941 - 7 February 1942
  • 86th Bombardment Group (Light) 10 February 1942 - 20 June 1942
  • 311th Bombardment Group (Light) 2 March 1942 - 4 July 1942
  • 312th Bombardment Group (Light) Jun 1942 - August 1942
  • 409th Bombardment Group (Light) 1 June 1943 - October 1943
  • 410th Bombardment Group (Light) 1 July 1943 - October 1943
  • 411th Bombardment Group (Light) 1 August 1943 - 15 August 1943
  • 416th Bombardment Group (Light) 5 February 1943 - 4 June 1943
  • 417th Bombardment Group (Light) 28 March 1943 - 4 August 1943
  • 9th Photographic Group (Reconnaissance) 1 October 1943 - 6 May 1944
  • 2d Reconnaissance Group 7 October 1943 - 1 May 1944
  • 70th Tactical Reconnaissance Group 14”“30 November 1943
After completion of their initial training, these units were reassigned to other airfields for secondary training prior to their deployment overseas. By the late 1990s, the 1960s-era terminal building was deemed unsuitable by the Oklahoma City Airport Trust. Following the adoption of a three phase master plan, preparations for renovating the airport were launched in 2001. The old twin concourses (visible in the 1995 photograph) were demolished to make way for a larger, expanded terminal with integrated concourses, high ceilings, and modern facilities. Great Plains Airlines, a regional airline based in Tulsa, made Will Rogers World Airport a hub in 2001, operating non-stop flights to Washington-Dulles and St. Louis, among other destinations. The airline ultimately desired access to other east and west coast markets, but financial problems forced it to declare bankruptcy and cease operations in 2004. Phase-II of the renovation project was officially completed in November 2006. Passenger gate areas were modernized and baggage claim areas, restaurant, bar, lounge and retail spaces were expanded. The airport opened cafes in the passenger departure and arrival areas to provide an option for guests who are not flying passengers. Will Rogers also has Wi-Fi options available throughout the facility. Landscaping improvements were made throughout the airport grounds, including the addition of a plaza garden featuring a statue of Will Rogers and his horse, Teddy. The airport constructed a new parking garage which increased capacity by a reported 40% due to increased passenger demand. Currently there are roughly 5,500 parking spaces at the airport. A Phase-III project exists which calls for the construction of a new concourse to the east, with at least eight additional gates as well as expanded retail, restaurant, and baggage areas. As of August 2009, this phase is on hold due to the downturn in the aviation industry and the resulting decrease in passenger demand.

Will Rogers World Airport has one terminal with 17 gates via the West Concourse (Gates 1-12) and Central Concourse (Gates 14-24). Gates on the south side of the building use even numbers while those on the north side use odd numbers. Hence, many odd-numbered gates are "left out" due to the terminal layout. The architecture of the building uses native stone along with loft-ceilings, plate glass and brushed metal. Compared to the old concourses, the improvements provided a more open feel to the terminal waiting areas, similar to larger hub airports without being quite so large in scale. Will Rogers World Airport officials approved a contract with Frankfurt Short Bruza Associates, P.C. in 2008 to begin planning for expanding the airport. However, officials were forced to postpone the expansion plan because of the industry-wide decline in passenger traffic. If completed, the existing terminal building would be expanded to the east and a new passenger concourse (the "International Concourse") with nine gates would be added, increasing the number of boarding gates to 26. The new facility would have immigration and customs on the lower level, and would serve international flights.

Terminal Amenities

Airlines and destinations
Will Rogers World Airport provides the Oklahoma City area with over 75 scheduled departures a day, with non-stop service to 19 cities. Many of the flights continue as direct service to other major U.S. markets and international destinations.

Cargo Airlines
  • FedEx Express
  • UPS Airlines
BAX Global has a lease with the airport and does operate cargo facilities on the airport, but they do not offer any scheduled flights into Will Rogers. Various FAR Part 135 Operators (Charter, Nonscheduled Service) operate in and out of the airport, such as small cargo feeder airlines operating small propeller aircraft. As well as larger charter companies doing military charters, vacations, etc.

Taxi and shuttle service is offered by a number of companies to downtown Oklahoma City. Greyhound and other intercity scheduled and charter bus companies provide service to the airport but this usually must be pre-arranged. As for public transit, Metro Transit (Oklahoma City) has a route (METRO route 11) to/from the airport. However, this service operates only 3 times per day during non-peak times Numerous hotels have the typical shuttle service to the airport and there are a number of car hire options available, most of which have on-site terminal facilities and business priority (frequent customer) loyalty options.

Other facilities
The Federal Bureau of Prisons Federal Transfer Center, Oklahoma City is located on the airport's western edge.

Key Airport Management
  • Mark Kranenburg, A.A.E. - Director of Airports
  • Scott Keith - Assistant Director of Airports
  • Karen Carney - Marketing Coordinator
  • Cheryl Pierce - Business Manager
  • Jim Thrash - Operations Manager
  • Tim Whitman - General Aviation Manager
  • Phillip Florey - Maintenance Manager
  • Donald Jones - Facilities Planner
  • Larry Kettler - TSA Federal Security Director
  • Kim Wagner - TSA Customer Service Manager
  • Larry McAtee - Chairman Oklahoma City Airport Trust

Other Notables
Will Rogers World Airport is used by military flights of the Oklahoma Air National Guard as well as air taxi and corporate service, although most of these flights utilize the Wiley Post Airport, Oklahoma City's FAA-designated reliever facility. U.S. Government
  • The Federal Aviation Administration has major facilities on the airport grounds, including the headquarters for the 'Air Route Traffic Control', the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute, and the FAA Training Academy, all housed at the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center campus on the west part of the Airport.
  • The U.S. Department of Justice has major Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System (JPATS) facilities at Will Rogers World Airport. The Federal Transfer Center and its principal air hub is built on the west side of the airport grounds, off of Taxiway G.
  • The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol operate their national training facility on airport grounds. They operate a hangar on the north side of the airport, off of Taxiway N, north of the JPATS Hangar.
Private industry
  • AAR Oklahoma has a major MRO (maintenance, repair, overhaul) facility and regional headquarters at Will Rogers World Airport; in addition there are other aircraft maintenance and AOG (aircraft on ground) organizations based there.
  • Atlantic Aviation begun construction in the Summer of 2010 on an FBO ( Fixed Base Operation) scheduled to open in the Spring of 2011 on the east side of the airport.
  • Will Rogers World Airport is home to one of Southwest Airlines largest Reservation and Customer Care Centers.
  • Partnering with Tinker AFB in presenting the annual Aerospace America airshow.
  • ARINC has major facilities on the airport premises, including plans to double the size of their current facility.
Education Will Rogers World Airport is home to Metro Technology Center's Aviation Career Campus. The Aviation center offers training to prepare aircraft maintenance technicians with Classrooms, practical labs, and separate airframe and powerplant hangars are available for academic and hands-on training. The Aviation Maintenance Technician program is an 18-month course that is certified and approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. The facility is on the west side of the airport, north of the FAA center. Museums
  • Will Rogers World Airport permanently hosts the Ninety Nines Museum of Women Pilots. The facility is located on more than 5,000 square feet (460 m 2), occupying the entire second floor of the International Headquarters building. It features a repository for a unique collection of the papers, personal items and other historic artifacts of some of the most significant achievements and adventures of the international community of women pilots. Its library and exhibit areas will provide new insights into the role women pilots played in the development of aviation.

Store Type Location Neighbor's Coffee Café Concession Pre-Security, East Security Checkpoint CNBC News Express OKC News/Retail Pre-Security, West Security Checkpoint Capital City Travelmart Retail Gate 20 Sonic Restaurant Central Concourse Food-Court Moe's Southwest Grill Restaurant Central Concourse Food-Court The Salt Lick BBQ Restaurant Central Concourse Food-Court Schlotzsky's Restaraunt Central Concourse Food-Court Bar 1907 Bar Central Concourse Between Gates 18, 20 CNBC News Oklahoma City News/Retail Gate 14 Big 12 Conference Store Retail Gate 14 The Shoppes@OKC Retail West Concourse Between Gates 5, 9 Capital City Travelmart Retail West Concourse Between Gates 5, 9 Oklahoma Marketplace Retail West Concourse Between Gates 5, 9 Redbud Bar Bar West Concourse Between Gates 8, 10 Route 66 Grille Restaurant West Concourse Between Gates 8, 10 Java Dave's Coffee Concession West Concourse Between Gates 8, 10 Airlines Destinations Gate American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth 4,6 American Eagle Chicago-O’Hare, Los Angeles 4,6 Continental Airlines Houston-Intercontinental 9,10 Continental Connection operated by Colgan Air Houston-Intercontinental 9,10 Continental Express operated by ExpressJet Airlines Houston-Intercontinental, Newark 9,10 Delta Air Lines Atlanta 20,22,24 Delta Connection operated by Atlantic Southeast Airlines Atlanta, Detroit, Memphis 20,22,24 Delta Connection operated by Pinnacle Airlines Atlanta, Memphis, Minneapolis/St. Paul 20,22,24 Delta Connection operated by SkyWest Airlines Salt Lake City, Minneapolis/St. Paul 20,22,24 Frontier Airlines operated by Republic Airlines Denver 2 Southwest Airlines Baltimore, Dallas-Love, Denver, Houston-Hobby, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Phoenix, St. Louis 14,16,18 United Airlines Denver 3,5 United Express operated by ExpressJet Airlines Denver, Chicago-O'Hare 3,5 United Express operated by GoJet Airlines Denver, Washington-Dulles 3,5 United Express operated by SkyWest Airlines Chicago-O’Hare, Houston-Intercontinental, Los Angeles 3,5 United Express operated by Trans States Airlines Chicago-O’Hare 3,5

Building Activity

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