Airport expansion to allow 4 million additional travelers every year

A rendering of the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport expansion shows the terminal will allow nine additional airplanes.

A rendering of the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport expansion shows the terminal will allow nine additional airplanes.

East Side ExpansionAustin-Bergstrom International Airport is bursting at the seams, and officials said an expansion is underway to accommodate 4 million additional passengers per year.

Jason Zielinski, senior public information specialist for the city of Austin Aviation Department, said a $350 million expansion project is scheduled to break ground in mid-2016 and be complete by late 2018.

“We’re seeing amazing growth,” Zielinski said. “The economy in Austin is strong; people are moving here. … We’re going to grow with it.”

ABIA is a one-terminal, 300,000-square-foot airport, according to the city. Zielinski said the terminal expansion will add 70,000 square feet—a 23 percent increase—and will include new waiting space in the gate areas, concessions, restrooms and more walkways. It will also add nine additional gates for domestic and international flights, he said.

The expansion will occur at the east end of the airport, near gates 1, 2 and 3, where the terminal comes to a dead end, Zielinski said. The airport already owns the property, and the expansion is part of ABIA’s master plan, he said.

ABIA’s capacity is 11 million passengers per year, Zielinski said. A November statistics report indicated the airport had already accommodated 10.8 million from January to November 2015. Officials predict it will surpass the 11 million mark when the December report is finalized, he said.

“We could use [the expansion] today,” he said.

Zielinski said the airport has experienced a 10 percent growth in the number of passengers since 2014, and it is one of the fastest-growing airports in the country.

The expansion process began in 2014 with approval from Austin City Council, contract negotiations for construction and design of the new space, he said.

“We have attracted a number of new nonstop flights [and] a number of new airlines,” Zielinski said. “We’re seeing sustained growth here. There’s a need. We know the airlines want to expand in Austin.”

Zielinski said in 2014, British Airways, a new airline to ABIA, began a nonstop service to London. In 2015, nonstop flights to Orlando, Miami, Toronto, Portland, St. Louis and Cincinnati, among others, began.

Airport projects are funded by grants, bonds and the Aviation Department’s fund for capital improvement projects. The capital fund includes airport revenue from parking, concessions, leases and passenger facility charges—a $4.50 fee included in the purchase of all tickets, according to the December 2015 Airport Construction Projects Audit.

“The airport doesn’t use any taxpayer dollars,” Zielinski said.

During construction ABIA may have to close one or two gates at a time, but it plans to use outdoor airstairs to accommodate passengers exiting or entering a plane when no gates are available, Zielinski said. ABIA does not anticipate the construction will severely disrupt passenger traffic, he said.


MOST RECENT

The city will negotiate its contracts will all three emergency services in the coming months. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
City kicks off negations with Austin EMS Association

The city will negotiate its contracts will all three emergency services in the coming months

Photo of a crowd celebrating at a ribbon-cutting
Premier Martial Arts opens new West Anderson Lane studio

The mixed martial arts studio is locally owned and has several locations throughout Austin.

The World Health Organization listed the omicron variant as a “variant of concern” on Nov. 26. The variant was first reported in South Africa. (Courtesy Travis County)
Austin Public Health eyes movement of omicron variant, but has yet to detect a case

The Austin-Travis County area will also remain in Stage 3 because of moderate community transmission rates and rising cases nationwide.

Crust Pizza Co. is opening soon in Montgomery and Willis. (Courtesy Crust Pizza Co.)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: 5 businesses coming to McKinney; Crust Pizza Co. to open two locations in Montgomery, Willis and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Nov. 30.

Assistant City Manager Rodney Gonzalez answered commissioners' and board members' questions at a Nov. 29 meeting. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact Newspaper)
South Austin public engagement threatened by land use commissions moving meeting place, commissioners say

Land use commissions are being asked to move meetings from City Hall to a new space in North Austin, but they say the move raises safety issues.

I Live Here I Give Here encourages individuals to donate to nonprofit organizations in their community. (Courtesy I Live Here I Give Here)
I Live Here I Give Here encourages Austinites to donate to local organizations Nov. 30

The nonprofit is encouraging the community to donate for Giving Tuesday on Nov. 30.

The median home price in the Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto area has risen considerably since last October. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Home sales, costs in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto remain hotter than Greater Austin; Halal Guys opens in Pearland and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Nov. 29.

The Austin Trail of Lights will open nighly from Nov. 28 through Dec. 31. (Courtesy Trail of Lights Foundation)
PHOTOS: Austin Trail of Lights returns to Zilker Park this week

The traditional holiday light show is open from Nov. 28 through New Year's Eve.

Commissioners on Nov. 22 voted to approve a density change to preliminary plans for The Preserve, a neighborhood that city documents said could include 565 single-family homes at the northeast corner of Teel and Panther Creek Parkways. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Neighborhood near PGA Frisco could see larger lots; ERCOT says Texas power grid ready for expected winter demand and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Nov. 24.

Local and state officials have made statements welcoming Samsung to Taylor following the announcement that the city will be home to its new $17 billion semiconductor fabrication plant. (Courtesy KXAN)
State, local officials react to Texas governor, Samsung joint announcement

Local and state officials have made statements welcoming Samsung to Taylor following the announcement that the city will be home to its new $17 billion semiconductor fabrication plant. 

Austin City Council will meet for a work session dedicated to housing affordability discussions Nov. 30. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Austin City Hall notebook: Council set for dive into housing, development after Thanksgiving break

A Nov. 30 work session could see city leaders work through a range of adjustments to city development code, rules and processes.

The new initiative will build the communities capacity to address homelessness along with collecting data from people who have increased access to those in need. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
ECHO, St. David's Foundation launch new program to build a community approach to homelessness

The program aims to address inequities in traditional homelessness response.