By Travis Sloat
Phoenix Staff Writer
Davis Field’s newest terminal has all the bells and whistles, but mixed with a healthy dose of local charm and history.
Shane Murray, an architect with Mass Architecture, said he wanted the terminal to reflect the rich heritage of Muskogee’s aviation history.
“We wanted to put the history in the terminal,” Murray said. “But at the same time we wanted to bring it into the future, and we wanted to open it up on the west side of the runway so everyone could see the great activity in Muskogee.”
Mass Architecture, as well as keynote speakers Deputy Mayor David Jones, Sen. Jim Inhofe and Oklahoma Aeronautics Director Victor Boyd all converged on Davis Field on Saturday morning for the grand opening of the airport’s newest terminal.
Inhofe, R-Okla., flew his aircraft to the event, a prop plane named after his grandson, which has helped him log more than 11,000 hours of flight time as a commercial pilot.
During his address, Inhofe said he was there to applaud the city and to tell Muskogee they were doing a great job.
“This airport is so significant,” Inhofe said. “You have a 7,000-foot runway out there. There are a lot of small airports that would kill to have that much space.”
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Inhofe climbed in his plane and took off for another obligation, but not before “buzzing” the new terminal, flying by and then executing a barrel roll as those on the ground applauded.
The terminal features the curves of older airport hangars, but also sports sharp lines. It has a conference room, a pilot’s lounge, a large screen television for broadcasting information and a comfortably sized waiting area, all of which Garry Lynn said was conducive to growth at the airport.
Lynn, the airport manager, said for many years the building next door housed a business and the terminal.
“With the new facility we now have expansion capabilities,” he said. “The last two weeks in June the Army came and used this as their base of operations for training. We can now accommodate all types of aircraft and personnel.”
Lynn also said the new terminal will help make a good first impression of Muskogee to those flying in on business.
“We have people from Georgia-Pacific and Dillard’s fly in here,” Lynn said. “We want to look our best, and it begins right here. This is the first thing they see, and this will make a good impression. Some of the people who come to Muskogee used to utilize Tulsa airports, and now they can use us. It’s well-rounded, and we will keep improving.”
Boyd said aviation is all about efficiency.
“The fastest way between point A and point B is flying,” Boyd said. “You have a gem of an airport here, and you shouldn’t take it for granted. Your beautiful terminal is your gateway to the world. Today, business does not go home in a bus, it comes calling in an airplane.”
Reach Travis Sloat at (918) 684-2908 or email@example.com.