A city of San Antonio commission has advanced design plans for a new terminal at the San Antonio International Airport, where new construction will require the razing of seven existing structures.

The big picture

The city’s historic and design review commission voted June 28 to approve the conceptual design for a planned third terminal, which would add 18 gates at the northside facility. Three of the gates will accommodate widebody aircraft.

The new Terminal C is a key part of the city’s planned, multiyear expansion and improvement initiative at the airport, which will include planned reconfigurations of the existing Terminal A and Terminal B structures, construction of a connector between terminals A and B, airport roadway and curbside upgrades, and other improvements.

According to city officials, the airport enhancements are designed to accommodate an increase in the number of air travelers; better meet travelers’ demands; and to convey a sense of San Antonio of being a world-class, culturally rich gateway for air passengers.

A closer look

City representatives said the airport improvements will require seven demolition projects.

The structures to be cleared include:
  • A badging identification office would be demolished to make way for a new parking garage and a new ground transportation center, while a new badging ID office would be built.
  • Hangar 4 would be razed to provide space for the new parking garage and new ground transportation center, and expansion of an overnight aircraft parking area.
  • An existing San Antonio Police Department building would be demolished to give way for roadway upgrades and the expansion of an overnight aircraft parking area. A new SAPD office would be built on airport territory.
  • Hangar 6 would be razed for the roadway upgrades and other planned improvements.
  • An airside operations structure would be demolished to accommodate expansion of the economy parking lot.
  • The “purple” lot, an abandoned former employee parking lot with parking barriers, fencing and parking control structures, would be cleared for Terminal X construction.
Major takeaways

An examination of these structures and areas determined only Building 1322, the old badging/ID office, was the lone development eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

City officials said the same structure, built in 1963, initially served as a terminal for business air travelers. The Conservation Society of San Antonio formally opposed the demolition of Building 1322.

Following a lengthy discussion at the historic and design review commission meeting, commissioners approved the overall conceptual design and related demolition plans with the caveat that airport project designers salvage and reuse some of the materials used to construct Building 1322 or copy the building’s aesthetic within surrounding new construction.

Otherwise, city officials said the history of Building 1322 will be formally noted with Texas State Historical Association.

The new terminal will be completed by 2028. Contractors are taking on the task of building the new ground load facility, also part of the airport expansion. Construction of the ground load facility began early this year and is expected to be completed in mid-2025.