Austin–Bergstrom International Airport

Austin–Bergstrom International Airport or ABIA (IATA: AUS, ICAO: KAUS, FAA LID: AUS, formerly BSM) is a Class C international airport located in Austin, Texas, United States (the capital of Texas), and serving the Greater Austin metropolitan area.

Austin–Bergstrom International Airport
Austin–Bergstrom Logo.png
AUSAirportAerial1.JPG
Summary
Airport typePublic
OwnerCity of Austin
OperatorCity of Austin Aviation Department
ServesGreater Austin
LocationAustin, Texas, U.S.
OpenedMay 23, 1999
Elevation AMSL542 ft / 165 m
Coordinates30°11′40″N 097°40′12″W / 30.19444°N 97.67000°W / 30.19444; -97.67000Coordinates: 30°11′40″N 097°40′12″W / 30.19444°N 97.67000°W / 30.19444; -97.67000
Websiteaustintexas.gov/airport
Map
AUS is located in Texas
AUS
AUS
AUS is located in the United States
AUS
AUS
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
17L/35R 9,000 2,743 Concrete
17R/35L 12,250 3,734 Concrete
Helipads
Number Length Surface
ft m
H1 60 18 Concrete
H2 60 18 Concrete
H3 50 15 Concrete
Statistics (2018)
Total Passengers15,819,912
Aircraft operations210,080

Located about 5 miles (8 km) southeast of Downtown Austin, it covers 4,242 acres (1,717 ha) and has two runways and three helipads.[1] It is on the site of what was Bergstrom Air Force Base. The airport and Air Force base were named after Captain John August Earl Bergstrom, an officer who served with the 19th Bombardment Group.[3] The airport replaced Robert Mueller Municipal Airport as Austin's main airport.

The airport is the busiest in Texas outside the Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston metropolitan areas.[4] As of 2018, there are 510 arrivals and departures on the typical weekday to 76 destinations in North America and Europe.[5]

HistoryEdit

BeginningsEdit

In 1942, the city of Austin purchased land and donated the land to the United States government for a military installation, with the stipulation that the city would get the land back when the government no longer needed it. This land became Bergstrom Air Force Base. Del Valle Airfield was activated on September 19, 1942 on 3,000 acres (12 km2) leased from the City of Austin. The name of the base was changed to Bergstrom Army Airfield (AAF) in March 1943, in honor of Captain John August Earl Bergstrom, a reservist in the 19th Bombardment Group, who was killed at Clark Field, Philippines in 1941. He was the first Austinite killed in World War II. With the separation of the United States Air Force and United States Army in September 1947, the name again changed to Bergstrom Air Force Base. It would have this name until it was decommissioned in the early 1990s, with all military aviation ceasing in 1995, after more than 50 years.[3]

As Austin was quickly outgrowing the old Robert Mueller Municipal Airport,[citation needed] the city began considering options for a new airport as early as 1971, when the Federal Aviation Administration proposed that Austin and San Antonio build a joint regional airport. That idea was rejected, as few Austinites supported driving halfway to San Antonio on Interstate 35 to catch a flight. Afterwards, the city submitted a proposal to the United States Air Force for joint use of Bergstrom Air Force Base in 1976. The Air Force rejected the proposal in 1978 as being too disruptive to its operations.

In the 1980s, neighborhoods around Mueller applied enough political pressure to force the city council to choose a site for a new airport from locations under consideration. In November 1987, voters approved a referendum designating a site near Manor. The city began acquiring the land, but faced lawsuits from the Sierra Club and others concerned about the Manor location and its potential environmental impact.[6]

The plans to construct a new airport at the Manor location were abandoned in 1991 when the Base Realignment and Closure Commission selected Bergstrom AFB for closure, and gave the nod to the city for the land and runways to be converted for use as a civilian airport. The USAF also agreed not to demolish the existing facilities, including the nearly-pristine main runway. The city council decided to abandon the original plan to build the new airport near Manor, and resolved instead to move the airport to the Bergstrom site. The City of Austin hired John Almond—a civil engineer who had recently led the airport design team for the new airport expansion in San Jose, California—as Project Director for the new $585 million airport in Austin and to put together a team of engineers and contractors to accomplish the task.[7] The issue of a $400 million bond referendum for a new airport owned and operated by the city was put to a public vote in May 1993 with a campaign managed by local public affairs consultant Don Martin and then-Mayor Bruce Todd and was approved by 63% of the vote. Groundbreaking for the new airport began in November 1994.[8]

 
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport tower

On October 23, 1995, with a $10 million budget[9] and after the old tower, previously used by the US Air Force, was demolished,[10] construction began on building Austin's tallest primary building (277 ft (84 m)) that houses air traffic controllers. Being completed a year before the current president Bill Clinton arrived with his entourage, enabling Air Force One to be granted clearance to land, thus making the president "the first passenger" to arrive. The tower when completed is behind Dallas and Houston as the tallest tower in the state.[9]

Bergstom AFB's main runway, 17R/35L, was kept intact along with most of its taxiways, as its high weight rating and long length would facilitate eventual service by large long-range airliners while reducing construction costs. Bergstom's original secondary runway, 17L/35R, was closed and partially demolished to allow new sections of taxiway to directly connect the main runway to the terminal complex. A replacement 9,000-foot 17L/35R was built to the east of the terminal site, along with a general aviation complex to the inside of its southern half. Most of the existing military buildings including the original control tower were demolished and cleared to make way for the new terminal and substantial parking facilities, though a hangar complex and parking tarmac to the south was retained, along with a section of tarmac to the northeast of the primary runway which became the foundation for ABIA's freight terminal. A few other existing jet bridges were converted to access roads for ground vehicles, while the family housing area to the northwest would be leveled but some of the roads kept for a Texas Department of Transportation service facility. A large complex of Travis County facilities, including the county correctional facility and sheriff's training academy, already existed just off of the original base; these facilities were left untouched.

Bergstrom had the designator BSM until Mueller's final closure in 1999, when it took Mueller's IATA code of AUS.[7] Initial issues with flight scheduling and routing led to proposed plans to keep Mueller operating in parallel with Bergstrom for a few weeks, but residents near Mueller blocked such efforts by appealing to the FAA, who refused to delay the transfer of the AUS LID or to issue a new airport code for Mueller. Austin–Bergstrom opened to the public on May 23, 1999.

OpeningEdit

 
Approaching Austin Bergstrom International Airport. The upper-level roadway is for departures, while the lower-level roadway is for arrivals.

Austin–Bergstrom International Airport opened to the public on May 23, 1999 with a 12,250 feet (3,730 m) runway, among the nation's longest commercial runways. The Barbara Jordan passenger terminal was originally conceived as an 18-gate terminal facility with a footprint of a bit more than 500,000 square feet (46,000 m2). However, ABIA was expanded during construction to have 24 contact gates with jet bridges (named Gate 2-Gate 25) and one gate without a jet bridge (named Gate 1) for a total footprint of 660,000 sqft.[11]

The opening of the airport coincided with a considerable number of nonstop flights being operated into Austin from the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, as American Airlines had decided to compete with Southwest Airlines' scheduled service between Dallas Love Field (DAL) and Austin in addition to American and Delta Air Lines service between Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and AUS.[12] At the time, there were 42 nonstop flights every weekday being operated with mainline jet aircraft from the two primary airports located in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex to Austin. By contrast, this same OAG lists a combined total of 24 nonstop flights every weekday at this time from the two primary airports serving the Houston area, Hobby Airport (HOU) and Intercontinental Airport (IAH), to Austin.[13]

Recent historyEdit

As Austin's population and economic importance has grown, airlines have been introducing nonstop flights directly out of Austin instead of routing passengers through existing hubs in Dallas and Houston as they had done before. Recent years has seen ABIA experience dramatic growth in both passenger numbers and nonstop service.[14]

The terminal's first expansion project was completed in the summer of 2015. It added an enlarged customs and immigration facility on the arrivals level capable of processing more than 600 passengers per hour, two domestic baggage claim belts, and an enlarged security checkpoint on the ticketing level.[15] In 2019, an addition to the east side of terminal added nine new gates, increasing the total number of gates from 25 to 34. These gates are spaced farther apart, and two gates were equipped with dual jetbridges to accommodate additional flights operated by larger aircraft. The number of flexible-use gates that can accommodate both international and domestic flights increased from two to six.[16]

The airport's first scheduled transatlantic service, to London–Heathrow, was inaugurated by British Airways in March 2014.[17]

FutureEdit

Austin–Bergstrom International Airport is currently in the final stages of preparing their 2040 master plan.[18] As ABIA continues to experience "rapid growth",[19] future plans call for, amongst other things, a new satellite concourse with 32 gates,[20] a new 10,000 ft runway and corresponding taxiway improvements and a new head-terminal for expanded check-in, security, and pick-up/drop-off where the existing Garage 1 is.[citation needed]

FacilitiesEdit

Main TerminalEdit

 
The passenger concourse at the Barbara Jordan Terminal

The Barbara Jordan Terminal was designed by the Austin firm of Page Southerland Page with associate architect Gensler under contract to the New Airport Project Team, with lead architect University of Texas at Austin Architecture professor Larry Speck.[21] The terminal is 748,000 square feet (69,500 m2) with a total of 34 gates, six of which are capable of handling international flights.

There are several restaurants and food concessions inside the terminal, all but two of which are located inside the secured gate areas of the terminal.[22] The terminal features an Admirals Club, United Club and Delta Sky Club for American, United and Delta frequent flyers respectively. The terminal also has a live music stage on which local bands perform in keeping with the spirit of Austin's proclamation as "The Live Music Capital of the World."

 
West concourse

The terminal is connected to a 3,000 space parking garage used for public parking. A consolidated rental car facility that houses counter, pick up, drop off, service and cleaning facilities is connected via walkway to the terminal and parking garage. The addition of the rental car facility, completed in October 2015, allowed the 900 parking spaces previously used for rental cars on the top floor of the parking garage to be converted to additional close-in short-term parking.

South TerminalEdit

A secondary terminal known as the South Terminal is primarily used by ultra low-cost carriers Allegiant Air and Frontier Airlines. The South Terminal is accessed from a separate entrance on the south side of the airport perimeter from Burleson Road; it cannot be accessed from either the main airport entrance from SH 71 or the Barbara Jordan terminal except by completely exiting the airport grounds. A shuttle runs between the two terminals. The facility has a retro look and three passenger gates without airbridges—passengers walk under a covered walkway to board the aircraft by stairs.

The South Terminal was originally commissioned as a joint venture with the Mexican-based low-cost airline VivaAerobus, which commenced service from Austin on May 1, 2008. The 30,000 square foot building, which was part of the original Air Force Base facilities, was renovated to meet the standards of a no-frills carrier. VivaAerobus's service was short-lived due to an epidemic of swine flu in Mexico in the spring of 2009 that resulted in high cancellation and no-show rates among leisure travelers, the airline's target demographic. Facing steep losses, the carrier terminated all service to the United States on June 1, 2009. The South Terminal's operator announced the closure of the facility at the same time.[23]

In August 2015, the Austin City Council authorized a 30-year lease on the facility to LoneStar Airport Holdings, LLC, which proposed relocating the ultra-low-cost carriers Allegiant Airlines and Frontier Airlines from the Barbara Jordan Terminal. Both carriers had expressed interest in expanding service to Austin but faced physical constraints as the main terminal neared capacity during peak hours. The South Terminal underwent a $12 million renovation with a retro theme in the fall of 2016.[24] Allegiant Air's transfer from the Barbara Jordan terminal on April 13, 2017 marked the reopening of the South Terminal. Frontier would relocate to the terminal in November 2018.[25] ViaAir also operated commercial flights out of the South Terminal from 2018 to May 30, 2019.[26][27]

RunwaysEdit

Runway 17R/35L, to the west of the terminal, is the original runway built and used by the Air Force. The 12,250-foot-long (3,730 m) runway was reconditioned when Austin–Bergstrom was built. The 23-inch-deep (580 mm) concrete runway is dedicated to former President Lyndon B. Johnson.[28]

Runway 17L/35R is a 9,000 foot (2,700 m) runway on the east side of the terminal and parallel with runway 17R/35L. This runway is dedicated to former Congressman J. J. "Jake" Pickle.[28] This runway contains a Category IIIB instrument landing system.

Airlines and destinationsEdit

PassengerEdit

AirlinesDestinationsRefs
Aeroméxico Connect Mexico City [29]
Air Canada Seasonal: Toronto–Pearson [30]
Air Canada Express Seasonal: Toronto–Pearson [30]
Alaska Airlines Portland (OR), San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (CA), Seattle/Tacoma [31]
Allegiant Air Albuquerque, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Orlando/Sanford
Seasonal: Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Memphis, Pittsburgh
[32]
American Airlines Boston (begins April 7, 2020),[33] Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York–JFK, Philadelphia, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, San Jose (CA) (resumes April 7, 2020)[34]
Seasonal: San José del Cabo (begins May 9, 2020)[35]
[36]
American Eagle Miami [36]
British Airways London–Heathrow [37]
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–JFK, Salt Lake City, Seattle/Tacoma [38]
Delta Connection Cincinnati, Raleigh/Durham [38]
Frontier Airlines Denver, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Orlando, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Washington–Dulles
Seasonal: Atlanta, Chicago–O’Hare, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Ontario, Orange County, Philadelphia, Seattle/Tacoma, Tampa
[39]
JetBlue Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Long Beach, New York–JFK, Orlando [40]
KLM Amsterdam (begins May 4, 2020)[41] [42]
Lufthansa Frankfurt [43]
Norwegian Air Shuttle Seasonal: London–Gatwick, Paris–Charles de Gaulle (begins May 6, 2020)[44] [45]
Southwest Airlines Albuquerque, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago–Midway, Dallas–Love, Denver, El Paso, Fort Lauderdale, Harlingen, Houston–Hobby, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Lubbock, Nashville, New Orleans, Oakland, Orlando, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco (ends January 5, 2020),[46] San Jose (CA), St. Louis, Tampa, Washington–National
Seasonal: Boston, Cancún, Indianapolis, Panama City (FL), Pensacola, Raleigh/Durham, San José del Cabo
[47]
Spirit Airlines Atlanta, Baltimore, Cancún (begins February 26, 2020),[48] Chicago–O’Hare, Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville (begins March 26, 2020),[48] Newark (begins March 26, 2020),[48] New Orleans, Orlando [49]
Sun Country Airlines Seasonal: Cancún, Gulfport/Biloxi, Minneapolis/St. Paul [50]
Taos Air Seasonal: Taos [51]
United Airlines Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, Newark, San Francisco, Washington–Dulles
Seasonal: Cancún
[52]
United Express Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington–Dulles [52]
WestJet Seasonal: Calgary [53]

CargoEdit

AirlinesDestinationsRefs
DHL Aviation Cincinnati, Tulsa [54][54]
FedEx Express Brownwood, El Paso, Fort Worth/Alliance, Los Angeles, Memphis, San Angelo
UPS Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston-Intercontinental, Louisville, Monterrey

StatisticsEdit

Top destinationsEdit

Busiest domestic routes from AUS
(September 2018 – August 2019)
[55]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Atlanta, Georgia 581,000 Delta, Frontier, Southwest, Spirit
2 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 534,000 American
3 Denver, Colorado 506,000 Frontier, Southwest, Spirit, United
4 Los Angeles, California 445,000 American, Delta, Southwest, Spirit, United
5 Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 370,000 American, Spirit, United
6 Houston–Intercontinental, Texas 356,000 United
7 Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Arizona 348,000 American, Southwest
8 Dallas–Love, Texas 321,000 Southwest
9 New York–JFK, New York 296,000 American, Delta, JetBlue
10 San Francisco, California 290,000 Alaska, Southwest, United
Busiest international routes from AUS
(January 2019 – September 2019)
[56]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 London - Heathrow, United Kingdom 142,418 British Airways
2 London - Gatwick, United Kingdom 55,600 Norwegian
3 Toronto, ON, CA 54,518 Air Canada
4 Frankfurt, Germany 42,405 Lufthansa
5 Mexico City, Mexico 33,586 AeroMexico
6 Calgary, AB, CA 10,617 WestJet

Airline market shareEdit

Largest airlines at AUS
(January 2018 – December 2018)[57]
Rank Carriers Passengers Share
1 Southwest Airlines 5,584,730 35.3%
2 American Airlines 2,836,375 17.9%
3 United Airlines 2,334,294 14.8%
4 Delta Air Lines 2,098,980 13.3%
5 Frontier Airlines 1,128,941 7.1%

Annual trafficEdit

Annual passenger traffic at AUS; 1999–present[58][59]
Year Passengers Year Passengers Year Passengers
1999 6,670,851[a] 2009 8,220,898 2019 14,419,259 (YTD)
2000 7,658,671 2010 8,693,708 2020
2001 7,199,322 2011 9,080,875 2021
2002 6,720,668 2012 9,430,314 2022
2003 6,707,081 2013 10,017,958 2023
2004 7,238,645 2014 10,718,854 2024
2005 7,683,545 2015 11,897,959 2025
2006 8,261,310 2016 12,436,849 2026
2007 8,885,391 2017 13,889,305 2027
2008 9,043,975 2018 15,819,912 2028
  1. ^ Includes passenger totals at Robert Mueller Municipal Airport for January–May 1999.

Ground transportationEdit

Route 20 operated by the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority operates from the arrivals level every 15 minutes. The route takes passengers through downtown and UT-Austin before heading east along Manor Road. [60]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b FAA Airport Master Record for AUS (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. effective July 29, 2010.
  2. ^ "Austin International Airport Total Operations and Traffic". February 1, 2018. Archived from the original on February 2, 2018. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Bergstrom Air Force Base: A 52-Year History of Service". Austin–Bergstrom International Airport. Archived from the original on June 30, 2011. Retrieved August 28, 2011.
  4. ^ "Calendar Year 2014 Passenger Boardings at Commercial Service Airports" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. p. 1. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 6, 2015. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
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  6. ^ "Airport site stirs controversy". The Daily Texan. January 15, 1985.
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  8. ^ Eskenazi, Stuart. "Voters say Bergstrom is the only way to fly". Austin American-Statesman. Austin, TX. p. A1. Retrieved May 28, 2010
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  12. ^ http://www.departedflights.com Archived December 17, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. June 1, 1999 Official Airline Guide (OAG) DAL/DFW to AUS flight schedules
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  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 24, 2016. Retrieved October 20, 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 17, 2019. Retrieved June 13, 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 29, 2019. Retrieved June 13, 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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  35. ^ "New Flights from Austin to Boston and San Jose Start this Spring". American Airlines Newsroom. December 10, 2019, 2019. Archived from the original on |archive-url= requires |archive-date= (help). Retrieved December 10, 2019. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  36. ^ a b "Flight schedules and notifications". Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
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  38. ^ a b "FLIGHT SCHEDULES". Archived from the original on June 21, 2015. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
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  43. ^ "Timetable - Lufthansa United States". Archived from the original on September 28, 2018. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
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  50. ^ "Route Map & Flight Schedule". Archived from the original on August 15, 2018. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  51. ^ Moya, Jesse Taos Air announces Texas flights Archived October 12, 2018, at the Wayback Machine, Taos News, October 11, 2018, retrieved 2018-10-11
  52. ^ a b "Timetable". Archived from the original on January 28, 2017. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  53. ^ "Flight schedules". Archived from the original on February 10, 2017. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  54. ^ a b "DHL Flightaware". Archived from the original on October 21, 2017. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  55. ^ "RITA – BTS – Transtats". BTS. Retrieved November 25, 2019.
  56. ^ "September 2019 Passenger, Cargo Traffic at Austin-Bergstrom" (PDF). City of Austin. July 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 30, 2019. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  57. ^ "December 2018 Passenger, Cargo Traffic at Austin-Bergstrom". Archived from the original on February 7, 2019. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  58. ^ "Airport Activity Reports - Passenger & Air Cargo Traffic". Archived from the original on July 27, 2018. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  59. ^ "Austin Airport Annual Traffic Report". Retrieved February 24, 2019.
  60. ^ "20 Manor Road/Riverside" (PDF). Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 12, 2019. Retrieved August 12, 2019.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport at Wikimedia Commons