TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- Tallahassee International Airport is continuing its multi-million dollar renovation in an effort to attract more travelers and airlines.
The airport has completed the first of three phases, streamlining service and adding creative design to show off the Capital City.
Phase I took 13 months and cost $12 million.
"We were happy that we were able to finish it all without affecting the operations of anyone at the airport," said Chris Curry, the city's director of aviation.
The airport spent $6 million on an inline baggage system.
"It has wider belts, so we can process larger luggage, oversized bags through the system -- and it's less customer interaction with the bag after they give it to the airline ticket agent," said Curry.
Behind new ticket counters are paintings of Tallahassee nature. An "art port" shows off local work through the Council on Culture and Arts (COCA).
"It tells a little bit about the city, which is important when folks travel to their capital," said Tallahassee city commissioner Scott Maddox.
As the airport continues renovation, it's also working to cut costs for travelers, meaning lower fees for people flying in and out of the airport.
"The more people spend money at the airport, the lower our landing fees are," said Maddox.
The airport says its investments are already paying off. There are 12,000 more customers during the first two months of the new fiscal year, compared to the same period last year.
Curry said Elite Airlines will be providing seasonal service soon -- and the goal is add JetBlue and United Airlines as well.
"Tallahassee is a debt-free airport, and the cost for us to make this improvement does not affect the bottom line for the airlines," Curry said.
Next is Phase II, which adds a TSA pre-check lane. Phase III extends the terrazzo floor to the concourse. In addition, the airport will replace all seating and renovate bathroom areas.
"Nobody comes to an airport to do anything other than fly out of there or to fly into the airport," Maddox said. "However, we want to make that experience as positive as we possibly can."
Phase II is schedule to begin Jan. 9 and should be completed in October 2017. Phase III will start immediately after and is scheduled to finish in early 2019.