We are one step closer to the completion of the airport renovations as phase one wrapped up this week.
The first phase includes renovations to the ground floor lobby, which entails a new meet and greet area, administrative offices, and upgrades to airport security. Airport staff expect the renovations to assist in a quicker, smoother, and more comfortable experience for everyone.San Angelo Regional Airport is now showing off their new renovations to the ground floor which completes the first of three phases.
It's been two years in the making and Airport Director, Luis Elguezabel, says he's looking forward to the changes.
"We've finally opened phase one of the terminal renovations, behind us the meet and greet area, our administrative offices, and the TSA and airlines offices are finally opened," Elguezabel said.
Phase one renovations include a new meet and greet area, which one passenger enjoys the most about the new additions.
"The first time I was here there wasn't really any seating. I was actually sitting on my bags just kind of over by the counter waiting for a taxi. I'm actually sitting in a chair right now, and it's a lot cleaner and they were just doing a lot of construction when I was here before," said a passenger, Lexi Morales.
For airport staff, after being in temporary trailers for two years, they now have four permanent administrative offices and a conference room in the building. Airport Operations Manager, Mitch Sprunger, feels a sense of relief to get out of those trailers.
"It was just cramped. It was an interesting dynamic, I mean we get state, local, federal employees that come in. We have a lot of construction meetings, we do security badging, so it was cramped; so now that we have this new space to do all that, it's going to be a lot more comfortable and be a better showcase for this airport," Sprunger said.
Now airport staff say Mathis Field will operate quicker and smoother with the new Transportation Security Administration exit lane, and by utilizing new screening equipment.
"Before we had that exit lane they actually had to funnel the exit through the actual checkpoint, so it's just a cramped process," Sprunger said.
Renovations are not focused solely on appearance and comfort, but the vaulted see-through glass windows near the departure gates beautifully light up the airport as the sun rises.
"We're halfway through phase two and phase three, which will be the front of the terminal, will be opened at a later date," Elguezabel said.
Phase two of the project is scheduled for completion in November, which will include an expansion of the baggage claim and rental car area, the airline counters and northside parking lots.