Eppley Airfield

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Eppley Airfield
OMA airport logo2.png
Owner/Operator Omaha Airport Authority
Serves Eastern Nebraska, western Iowa
Location Omaha, Nebraska
Elevation AMSL 984 ft / 300 m
Coordinates 41°18′04″N 95°53′43″W / 41.3012°N 95.8954°W / 41.3012; -95.8954
Website www.flyoma.com
OMAShow map of NebraskaOMAShow map of the USLocation of airport in Nebraska / United States
OMA is located in Nebraska
OMA is located in the US
Location of airport in Nebraska / United States
Direction Length Surface
ft m
14R/32L 9,502 2,896 Asphalt/Concrete
14L/32R 8,500 2,591 Concrete
18/36 8,154 2,485 Asphalt/Concrete
Statistics (2009, 2011, 2013, 2016)
Passengers (2016) 4.35 million
Aircraft operations (2009) 111,155
Cargo in pounds (2013) 93,000,000
Mail in pounds (2013) 51,000,000
Sources: FAA[1] and airport web site[2]

Eppley Airfield (IATA: OMAICAO: KOMAFAA LID: OMA) is an international medium hub airport three miles northeast of downtown Omaha, Nebraska, in Douglas County, Nebraska, United States. It is by far the largest airport in Nebraska, serving ten times more passengers than all other Nebraska airports combined, and is named for Eugene C. Eppley, the Eppley Hotel magnate of Omaha, from whose estate $1.0 million was used to convert Omaha Municipal Airport into a jetport in 1959-60.[3]

The airport occupies 2,650 acres (1,070 ha) and handles about 120 airline flights per day to and from 20 daily and 3 seasonal non-stop destinations.[4] Eppley served 4.17 million passengers in 2015 (including both enplaned and deplaned passengers).


Eppley Airfield began as an extension of Levi Carter Park near East Omaha in 1925. That year, the City of Omaha acquired 200 acres of cleared land on the east side of Carter Lake[disambiguation needed]. Almost immediately, planes started landing and taking off there. A lawsuit was launched against the City in 1927 when a group wanted to build a hangar there. The lawsuit failed and the land was called both the Omaha Municipal Airport and the American Legion Airport.[5]

The April 1957 OAG shows 42 scheduled airline departures per day, with 23 by United Airlines and 19 by Braniff Airlines. In January 1960, the City of Omaha renamed the field in honor of Eugene Eppley, whose foundation donated US$1,000,000 for improvements to the field. This was matched by the federal government and improvements were made to handle jets at the airport,[6] and the first jets landed were United 720s in August 1960.

The terminal building, opened in 1961, was designed by James C. Buckley, Inc.[7] Concourse B opened in 1970,[8] and it was remodeled when Concourse A opened in 1986.[9]

Hubs and operations[edit]

Midwest Airlines, then known as Midwest Express, operated a hub at Eppley Airfield from 1995 to 2002 with flights to Milwaukee, Newark, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Orlando, and Washington–Reagan; the airport remained a focus city with nonstops to Milwaukee and Washington until the airline merged with Frontier Airlines in 2010.[10] As of January 2017, Omaha has no international passenger flights. The airport handled more than 4.1 million passengers in 2014. Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and American Airlines are the first-, second-, and third-largest carriers and serve about 33 percent, 22 percent, and 22 percent, respectively, of passengers.[2]

Popular culture[edit]

Several films have used Eppley for a few scenes including the 2002 feature film About Schmidt which included scenes filmed inside and outside the terminal building, and the 2009 feature film Up in the Air which made use of the south end of the terminal building during filming.



Parking Garage[edit]

On February 18, 2015, The Omaha Airport Authority board approved the plan for design work to begin on an approximately $71 million, six-story parking garage. The new garage is to be built north of the existing six-story garage, and construction on the first project would begin in about a year. The project will be expected to be completed in fall 2017. The first phase would provide 2,200 parking stalls, with 850 stalls for rental cars and 1,350 public stalls. [11]


Construction and upgrades are planned for Eppley Airfield's terminal and tarmac. An expansion to the runway 36/18 will be added in order to have larger aircraft landing, as well as taxiway A being enlarged to handle such aircraft. Next, Concourses A and B will be joined together by a long corridor, and expanded in the northern direction, adding 8 more jetways. This expansion will also add 6-8 more security checkpoints, instead of the current two. After construction, there will be a total of 28 gates, with some able to handle larger aircraft. On either side of the "megaterminal" the ramp will be extended for overnight aircraft parking.

In January 2016, Eppley Airfield completed the expansion of its on-site United States Customs and Border Protection facility (CBP) to provide greater customs and inspection services for international passengers. While Eppley Airfield is classified as a "Customs Landing Rights Airport" for international flights (officially an "international airport") by United States Customs and Border Protection, there is no regularly scheduled international passenger service; however, the airport does handle international charter and private flights.


The airport is northeast of downtown Omaha in east Omaha. Although the airport is in Nebraska on the west side of the Missouri River, it is surrounded on the east, west and south by the state of Iowa: the Missouri River formerly formed an oxbow west of the land that became Eppley Airfield. The river cut off the oxbow during an 1877 flood, leaving behind Carter Lake on a portion of its former course; the Supreme Court ruled in 1893 that though the land cut off by the river's changed route now lay west of the Missouri, it remained part of Iowa. This land eventually became the city of Carter Lake, Iowa.[12]


Central Terminal[edit]

The Central Terminal contains the ground transportation center and rental car counters.

Gate System[edit]

The gate system of Eppley Airfield is a "running total system". This means that when a new concourse begins, the gate number does not reset to 1 with the prefix of the Concourse's letter. For example, the gates go from A10 to B11; there is no B1, as the running total keeps the number going with a different prefix.

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Airlines Destinations Concourse
Alaska Airlines Seattle/Tacoma A
Alaska Airlines
operated by SkyWest Airlines
Portland (OR) A
Allegiant Air Orlando/Sanford, St. Petersburg/Clearwater
Seasonal: Oakland
American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Phoenix–Sky Harbor A
American Eagle Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth A
Delta Airlines Atlanta, Minneapolis/St. Paul
Seasonal: Detroit, Salt Lake City
Delta Connection Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–LaGuardia, Salt Lake City, Washington–National A
Frontier Airlines Denver
Seasonal: Orlando
Southwest Airlines Chicago–Midway, Dallas–Love, Denver, Houston–Hobby (begins March 9, 2017),[13] Las Vegas, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, St. Louis, Washington–National
Seasonal: Los Angeles, Orlando
United Airlines Chicago–O'Hare, Denver
Seasonal: Houston–Intercontinental
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, Newark, San Francisco B


Airlines Destinations
Ameriflight Beatrice, Grand Island, Kearney, Norfolk
AirNet Express Des Moines
DHL Aviation
operated by Suburban Air Freight
FedEx Express
operated by Baron Aviation Services
Grand Island, Kearney, North Platte
FedEx Express Indianapolis, Memphis
UPS Airlines Billings, Louisville, Reno/Tahoe, Winnipeg


Top destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from OMA (December 2015 – November 2016)[14]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Denver, Colorado 298,000 Frontier, Southwest, United
2 Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 229,000 American, United
3 Atlanta, Georgia 195,000 Delta
4 Chicago–Midway, Illinois 189,000 Southwest
5 Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Arizona 156,000 American, Southwest
6 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 151,000 American
7 Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota 146,000 Delta
8 Las Vegas, Nevada 112,000 Southwest
9 St. Louis, Missouri 107,000 Southwest
10 Houston–Intercontinental, Texas 69,000 United

Annual traffic[edit]

Annual passenger traffic (enplaned + deplaned) at OMA, 2002 through 2014[15]
Year Passengers Year Passengers
2002 3,608,231 2009 4,217,718
2003 3,667,190 2010 4,287,428
2004 3,868,217 2011 4,212,399
2005 4,193,046 2012 4,127,344
2006 4,229,856 2013 4,042,333
2007 4,421,274 2014 4,119,730
2008 4,370,137 2015 4,169,467

Ground transportation[edit]

MAT Line 16[16] provides limited weekday-only rush hour service southbound toward downtown and northbound toward the North Omaha Transit Center. Passenger access is located directly outside the central terminal.

Accidents and incidents[edit]



  1. ^ FAA Airport Master Record for OMA (Form 5010 PDF), effective 2007-10-25
  2. ^ a b Eppley Airfield, official web site
  3. ^ Eppley Grant of $1 Million Gives Omaha Jet Field - Lincoln Evening Journal, 1959-12-31
  4. ^ "Non-Stop Destinations". www.flyoma.com. Retrieved 2015-04-29. 
  5. ^ Leslie R Valentine, “The Development of the Omaha Municipal Airfield, 1924-1930,” Nebraska History 61 (1980): 400-420.
  6. ^ "Municipal airport new name 'Eppley Airfield'," Omaha World-Herald, January 13, 1960
  7. ^ American Aviation. 24. 1960. 
  8. ^ Mezzy, Dick (July 5, 1970). "Eppley Elevated Terminal Ready". Lincoln Star. p. 16. Retrieved January 22, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Airport Authority of the City of Omaha, Airport Facilities Revenue Bonds" (PDF). www.fpr.net. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 19 December 2015. 
  10. ^ "Frontier Airlines and Midwest to fly under one name - Apr. 13, 2010". 
  11. ^ Omaha World Herald. "Easing the Parking Crunch: 6-story, 2,200-stall Garage Coming to Eppley Airfield in 2017." Omaha.com. Omaha World Herald, 18 Feb. 2015. Web. 28 Apr. 2015. <http://www.omaha.com/money/easing-the-parking-crunch--story--stall-garage-coming/article_790a6390-b6d2-11e4-9734-039b1a169392.html>.
  12. ^ Nebraska v. Iowa, 406 U.S. 117 (1972).
  13. ^ http://swamedia.com/releases/bay-to-beaches-oakland-to-mexico-nonstop-service-now-available-for-booking-as-southwest-airlines-extends-flight-schedule-through-late-april-2017?l=en-US
  14. ^ "RITA - BTS - Transtats". 
  15. ^ "Omaha Airport Authority -". Omaha Airport Authority. 
  16. ^ http://www.ometro.com/bus-system/bus-routes/east-omaha-north-16th-weekdays-only
  17. ^ "Braniff Airliner Hits Nebraska Bean Field". The Spokesman-Review. August 8, 1966. Retrieved 19 December 2015. 

External links[edit]