Broadening the horizon
Austin airport expansion set to take off with new gates in 2024
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport keeps growing along with the region’s population.
Construction is set to get underway this summer on the addition of three gates on the west side of the airport’s main terminal. The project is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2024.
The three-gate expansion will bring AUS to a total 37 gates. The cost of the project hasn’t been determined yet. It’s part of the airport’s roughly $3.5 billion to $4 billion long-term expansion program.
The airport eventually plans to build a new concourse with at least 10 more gates to accommodate future increases in passenger traffic. The concourse will be connected via an underground tunnel to the main terminal. The price tag for the new concourse hasn’t been established; neither have the dates for starting and finishing construction.
“Adding gate capacity to the Austin airport supports the future of air service for Austinites and Central Texas travelers,” airport spokeswoman Sam Haynes tells CultureMap. “Our airport was one of the fastest-growing airports in the country prior to COVID-19, and when measured by seat-capacity increases, we are the strongest recovering airport in the U.S.”
“We expect to break our record for the busiest year in airport history this year and continue to see strong investments from the airlines,” Haynes adds. “Expanding gate capacity is a key element in our expansion program that will allow us to serve more flights and more passengers as the region continues to grow.”
The population of the Austin metro area jumped by 33 percent from 2010 to 2020.
For 2022, officials predict 20 million passengers will fly in and out of Austin’s airport. That would smash the current record of 17.3 million passengers in 2019.
With their seemingly endless addition of nonstop routes at AUS, American and Southwest airlines are vying to grab a bigger share of the airport’s surging passenger traffic. For instance, both airlines this summer are launching the first nonstop service between Austin and Cozumel, Mexico.
Meanwhile, Virgin Atlantic has joined British Airways in offering nonstop service between Austin and London’s Heathrow Airport; Air Canada is starting nonstop service between Austin and Vancouver, Canada; KLM Royal Dutch Airlines recently began nonstop service between Austin and Amsterdam; and Lufthansa recently resumed nonstop service between Austin and Frankfurt, Germany.