Thursday, March 2, 2017

New Terminal at Austin Bergstrom International Airport


The Austin American Statesman reports on the new terminal at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport, which will open on April 13th.

This new smaller terminal will be home to Allegiant and Texas Sky airlines for now, and will eventually be home to more small, no-frills airlines.  It will only be accessible from Burleson Road and will be located to the south of the tower.

The terminal was financed through a partnership between the city of Austin and LoneStar Airport Holdings, which will be in charge of the terminal for the next 30 years through an operating lease.  LoneStar spent $12 million on renovations in the summer of 2016.  

ABIA was built to handle 11 million passengers a year, but served more than 12 million in 2016.  The hope is that the new South Terminal will give the main terminal a break from the crush of travelers.  

The east side of the Barbara Jordan Terminal is in the midst of a renovation that will add nine gates and cost $350 million when it is finished in 2019.

Allegiant Airlines will be the largest airline at the new terminal.  They have nonstop flights to 10 cities, including Orlando, Cleveland, and Las Vegas.  Most of Allegiant’s passengers only take one flight a year, so the airline hopes the new terminal will make their trip easier and less stressful.

Texas Sky will also take up operations in the new terminal.  They provide a flight to Victoria, Texas, which takes off every day.

The South Terminal will be able to handle a maximum capacity of 36 flights a day, will have two security lines, and will have three gates, which will all be outdoors and covered by canopies.  The terminal will also have pre-packaged food and drinks.  

The terminal will have airstairs and ramps for entrance to the planes, rather than the standard passenger boarding bridges.  That was how planes were boarded in the 1950s and ‘60s, and it is the reason why the terminal has midcentury modern decor.  

The terminal will have a unique feature: an outdoor waiting area with a bar and stage for live music.  Plans are to eventually have a food truck as well.  There will be an indoor waiting area too.

A parking lot in front of the terminal will charge $7 daily for its 1,000 spaces and there will be lanes for taxis and ride share services.  A shuttle will connect the South Terminal to the main terminal so flyers can make connections or get to the rental car services.  

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