The Federal Aviation Administration recently awarded two grants totaling $30 million to San Antonio International Airport, where city officials said the money will help support various improvements at the North Side facility.

The background

According to a Feb. 15 news release, city officials will spend $18 million in grant money on construction of a third airport terminal, which is set to open in 2028. Local officials will spend the remaining $12 million on electrical upgrades in Terminal A.

The release states the money comes from two sources: the federal government’s fiscal year 2023-24 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Airport Terminals Program, which provides grant funding for airport terminal development projects, and the federal Airport Infrastructure Grant program.

City officials said they are thankful for the infusion of federal grants meant to help fund current and planned improvements at the airport. In February 2023, the FAA awarded a $20 million grant for construction of a ground load facility that will open in 2025.

What they’re saying

Local leaders said enhancing and expanding San Antonio’s airport will put the city into a better position toward getting more direct fights and international flights, and meeting the needs of recreational and business travelers.

Jesus Saenz, airports director, said he and his city government colleagues aim to offer a comprehensive, enjoyable experience to travelers going through the San Antonio airport.

“As we grow and expand our operations, these grants allow us to continue to modernize our airport and improve traveler experience,” Saenz said in a statement.

Saenz said it is also important for the airport to accommodate rising traveler demand.

“We had our busiest year ever in 2023 with 10.7 million passengers. We can’t wait for the [ground load facility] to be ready, and we’re just four years out from having our new terminal. Each time we’re awarded more of these grants, it’s an investment in our future,” he added.

City Manager Erik Walsh said the city receiving $30 million in federal grants is a big win for the region.

“The terminal expansion isn't just about upgrading infrastructure; it's about fueling our city's economic engine and bolstering our connectivity,” Walsh said in a statement. “We’re solidifying San Antonio's position as a hub of opportunity and growth.”