ABIA plans $200 million expansion

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by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on February 5, 2014 at 7:31 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 5 at 7:41 PM

AUSTIN -- A record more than 10 million passengers came through Austin Bergstrom International Airport in 2013, and the momentum is expected to continue. To accommodate growth, the airport has come up with a $200 million expansion plan.

"We've seen consistent passenger growth for four consecutive years now," said aviation public information officer Jason Zielinski.

He says the current terminal is nearing capacity of 11 million, and that the $200 million expansion would help accommodate an additional four million passengers a year.

It would create seven more gates, 70,000 square feet of new concourse space. New restrooms, and baggage carousels and 12,000 square feet of concession space.
 
The number of people flying was up 6 percent in 2013. The amount of food those people consumed was up, too. The amount of brisket sold was 59 tons, a 9 percent increase. Live music performances are up 43 percent, with more than 1,000 last year.
 
"As a consumer, I'd prefer the options to fly direct more, with more ease, to Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, San Fran and potentially international flights also," said Eddie Wood, a frequent traveler from Sherman, Texas.

In March, British airlines begin non-stop service to London. The expansion is expected to facilitate more carriers and flight options. It would also offer technology improvements to help students like Ross Hendrickson of Texas State.

"We are sitting with a big group over there with our school, and there [are] only like two outlets," said Hendrickson.

$200 million might sound like a lot of money. However, Zielinski says the money is already there, as funds generated by the airport. There are no tax dollars involved.

However, the plan must still be approved by the city council. That's on the agenda next week. Construction is expected to begin in 2015, and be complete by the middle or end of 2016.
 

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