San Antonio unveils $880M-plus growth plan for airport

The city has developed a long-range strategic plan to build a new terminal and implement other improvements at the San Antonio International Airport. (Courtesy City of San Antonio)
The city has developed a long-range strategic plan to build a new terminal and implement other improvements at the San Antonio International Airport. (Courtesy City of San Antonio)

The city has developed a long-range strategic plan to build a new terminal and implement other improvements at the San Antonio International Airport. (Courtesy City of San Antonio)

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A new terminal and roadway realignment will be key to a long-range plan to expand and enhance the San Antonio International Airport.

Airport system officials presented the proposed 2040 strategic development plan to residents and other stakeholders during an in-person gathering Oct. 19 at the Jewish Community Center, and in an Oct. 21 virtual session.

City Council is scheduled to meet in November and review the airport plan, in which Phase I would include an estimated $880 million-$950 million worth of improvements at the 80-year-old facility.

One of the plan’s major parts would involve the construction of Terminal C, which could accommodate up to 17 additional gates, according to John van Woensel, national aviation planning manager for the engineering consulting firm WSP.

Van Woensel said the new terminal could contain five international gates, a bigger concourse to boost passenger flow, and a new international arrivals center.



Some of the driving ideas behind the long-range plan, airport officials and consultants said, are to eliminate separate security checkpoint areas and to make the passenger experience at the airport more efficient.

“Ultimately, this will be a single unified terminal complex,” van Woensel said.

Phase I work will also featured expansion of aircraft capacity and car parking, and realignment of roads leading into and out of the airport as well as internal streets to improve traffic flow.

Airport officials the improvements are needed to help the airport to accommodate a growing population, a forecasted rise in air traffic, and to lure more carriers especially those with direct business flight routes.

According to the city, passenger activity at the San Antonio airport was down because of the pandemic, but the strategic plan projects the local passenger count to get as high as 15 million by 2040. The state projects Bexar County’s population increasing to 3.34 million by 2050.

Development of the strategic plan has involved several meetings and discussions with residents, stakeholders and council members.

Airport system and consultants said a combination of passenger fees, airport bonds and Federal Aviation Administration funds will support the airport expansion and improvements.

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