Austin–Bergstrom International Airport

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Austin–Bergstrom
International Airport
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport logo.png
AUSAirportAerial2.JPG
IATA: AUSICAO: KAUSFAA LID: AUS
Summary
Airport type Public
Owner City of Austin
Operator City of Austin Aviation Department
Serves Greater Austin
Elevation AMSL 542 ft / 165 m
Coordinates 30°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
Website http://www.austintexas.gov/airport
Maps
FAA airport diagram
FAA airport diagram
AUS is located in Texas
AUS
AUS
Location within Texas
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
17L/35R 9,000 2,743 Concrete
17R/35L 12,248 3,733 Concrete
Helipads
Number Length Surface
ft m
H1 60 18 Concrete
H2 60 18 Concrete
H3 50 15 Concrete
Statistics (2008, 2013)
Aircraft operations (2013) 176,647
Based aircraft (2008) 196
Passengers (2013) 10,017,958
Source: Federal Aviation Administration[1]

Austin–Bergstrom International Airport or ABIA (IATA: AUSICAO: KAUSFAA LID: AUS, formerly BSM) is a Class C international airport located in Austin, Texas – the capital of Texas, and serving the Greater Austin metropolitan area, the 34th-largest metropolitan area in the United States. 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. The airport is named after Captain John August Earl Bergstrom, an officer who served for the 19th Bombardment Group.[2]

A total of 10,017,958 passengers traveled through the Austin–Bergstrom International Airport in 2013, an all-time high and the first year that more than 10 million people used the airport.[3] The airport is now the 36th busiest airport for total passengers in the United States.[4] Annual passenger total in 2013 increased by 4%, or 587,644 passengers, from the previous record year of 2012. 2013 also saw the addition of Allegiant Air and Aeromar as carriers and the announcement of British Airways' new route to London Heathrow beginning in March 2014, Austin's first transatlantic service.

Currently, there are over 150 daily departures to 44 destinations in the U.S., Mexico, and United Kingdom.[5] The airport began passenger service on Sunday, May 23, 1999.[6]

History[edit]

Austin–Bergstrom International Airport is located on the old site of Bergstrom Air Force Base. Austin–Bergstrom replaced Austin's Robert Mueller Municipal Airport, opening to the public on May 23, 1999.

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 half way to San Antonio to catch a flight. 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 and fighting lawsuits from the Sierra Club and others concerned about the Manor location.[7] 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 it to be used as a civilian airport.

Penn Field[edit]

The first officially sanctioned landing field in Austin was Penn Field. At the Chamber of Commerce's behest, a United States Army delegation came to Austin in 1917 to scout out suitable sites for an airfield to serve the region. After the initial suggestion of Camp Mabry was rejected, a 318-acre (1.29 km2) parcel of land just south of St. Edward's University in South Austin was deemed suitable. Penn Field opened in 1918, named after Austin aviator Eugene Doak Penn, who died while training in Italy during World War I.[8]

Robert Mueller Municipal Airport[edit]

As the need for commercial service became clear in the 1920s, Austin voters supported a bond election to build a municipal airport in the city in 1928. Located a few miles northeast of downtown, the Robert Mueller Municipal Airport served Austin's air traffic needs beginning October 14, 1930, although commercial service would not begin until 1936. The airport was named for Robert Mueller, a city council member who died in 1927.[9]

In the 1950s, developers began building residential areas beneath the flight paths of Mueller and, in parallel, the number of arrivals and departures at the airport increased dramatically because of the growth of the city. Also, at 7,269 feet (2,216 m), the runway at Mueller was too short to handle new planes such as the 747. However, larger aircraft such as American Airlines DC-10s and Continental Airlines Boeing 720s have been regularly scheduled in the past. Before major expansion at Mueller took place in the 1970s, the departure area consisted of 4 to 5 gates, not enclosed but covered by a large awning. No jetways existed at this time.[10]

Mueller's longest runway was 7,000 feet (2,100 m) and by the late 1990s, the passenger terminal was operating at full capacity with 16 gates.

Robert Mueller Airport remained open for general aviation use through June 22, 1999, at which point it was closed to passenger traffic indefinitely. The 711 acres (288 ha) site of Mueller Airport was eventually designated to be a mixed-used development that would come to be known as the Mueller Community.

Bergstrom Air Force Base[edit]

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.[2]

In the early stages of exploring options for a new airport, the city submitted a proposal to the United States Air Force for joint use of Bergstrom AFB in 1976. The Air Force rejected the proposal in 1978 as being too disruptive to its operations. In 1991, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission selected Bergstrom AFB for closure and gave the nod to the city for it to be used as a civilian airport. 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.[11]

Austin–Bergstrom International Airport[edit]

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.[12]

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. There are 25 gates within the 600,000 square feet (56,000 m2) Barbara Jordan passenger terminal, which is designed for eventual expansion to 55 gates. Originally conceived as an 18-gate terminal facility with a footprint of 500,000 square feet (46,000 m2), ABIA was expanded during construction to incorporate six additional gates for a total of 25 gates with a footprint of 600,000 sqft.[13]

Bergstrom had the designator BSM until Mueller's final closure in 1999, when it took Mueller's IATA code of AUS.[14]

Because the airport was built in the area in proximity to the high school and three elementary schools of the Del Valle Independent School District, voters approved a $38.1 million bond to build the schools in a new location.[15] Baty Elementary, Hillcrest Elementary, Popham Elementary, and Del Valle High School moved.[16]

Facilities[edit]

The passenger concourse at the Barbara Jordan Terminal
AirTran Airways Flight 85 from Cancún lands on runway 17L/35R.

Terminal[edit]

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.[17] The terminal is 660,000 square feet (61,000 m2) with a total of 25 gates. While there are several restaurants and food concessions inside the terminal, all but two are located inside the secured gate areas of the terminal.[18] 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." The terminal is connected to a 3000 space parking garage used for public parking as well as rental car pick-up and return.

A consolidated rental car facility is under construction (anticipated completion in 2015) that will move counter, pick up, and drop off facilities to a new 900 space structure adjacent to the existing parking garage, allowing currently utilized spaces to be converted to additional close-in short term parking. A second improvement project is a 50,000 square foot addition to the terminal that will increase the number of security checkpoints for departing passengers, and allow a second gate to be used for international arrivals. Customs and immigration facilities in the new addition will allow the processing of 600 passengers per hour when the facility is completed in 2015. As the airport continues to see constant and rapid growth, a new seven gate expansion is set to break ground in 2015, on the east side of the terminal near the new customs facility that is being built.[19]

A new dedicated facility known as the South Terminal Austin was approved by the Austin City Council in order to accommodate the arrival of Mexican-based, low-cost airline, VivaAerobus, which launched operations on May 1, 2008. This terminal did not have any gates, there were only parking stands for the aircraft. That terminal was closed on June 1, 2009, after VivaAerobus terminated service to Austin. Currently the terminal is not being used for any flights.[20][21]

Both American Airlines and United Airlines operate lounges at this airport for members of their executive lounge programs. Members of Alaska Airlines's executive lounge program and British Airways Club World passengers also have access to American's facilities.

Runways[edit]

Runway 17R/35L, to the west of the terminal, is the original runway built and used by the Air Force. The 12,248-foot-long (3,733 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.[22]

Runway 17L/35R is a new 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.[22] This runway contains a Category IIIB instrument landing system, the first in Austin.

The runways are watched over by a new 20-story air traffic control tower.[23] The tower formerly used by the Air Force has been demolished.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Austin–Bergstrom International Airport's 11 commercial airlines and their regional partners serve 44 destinations in the U.S., Mexico, and U.K.[24]

Airlines Destinations
Aeromar Mexico City
AirTran Airways
operated by Southwest Airlines
Atlanta (ends August 9, 2014), Cancún (ends November 1, 2014)
Seasonal: San José del Cabo (ends November 1, 2014)[25]
Alaska Airlines Seattle/Tacoma
Allegiant Air Las Vegas
American Airlines Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York–JFK
British Airways London-Heathrow
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, New York–JFK
Seasonal: Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Salt Lake City
Delta Connection Detroit, Los Angeles, Memphis (ends August 19, 2014), Minneapolis/St. Paul, Salt Lake City
Seasonal: Orlando
Frontier Airlines Denver
JetBlue Airways Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Long Beach, New York–JFK, Orlando
Southwest Airlines Atlanta, Baltimore, Cancún (begins November 2, 2014), Chicago–Midway, Dallas–Love, Denver, El Paso, Fort Lauderdale, Harlingen, Houston–Hobby, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Lubbock, Nashville, Newark, New Orleans, Oakland, Orlando, Phoenix, San Diego, San Jose (CA), Tampa, Washington–National
Seasonal: Portland (OR), San José del Cabo (begins November 2, 2014),[26] St. Louis
United Airlines Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, Newark, San Francisco
Seasonal: Cancún, San José del Cabo, Washington–Dulles
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, Newark , Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington–Dulles
US Airways Philadelphia, Phoenix
Seasonal: Charlotte (Begins September 3, 2014)
US Airways Express Charlotte, Phoenix
Virgin America San Francisco

Statistics[edit]

Currently Southwest Airlines is the airline flying with the most passengers out of ABIA. In 2013, Southwest flew a total of 5,010,665. American flew a total of 1,849,381 people and United flew a total of 1,517,020. Delta, Jetblue, US Airways, Frontier Airlines and Alaska Airlines also had many passengers fly with them in 2013, from ABIA. New carriers in 2013 included Virgin America, Allegiant Air and Aeromar. In March 2014, ABIA also saw its first transatlantic flight to London, operated by British Airways. A new customs facility is being built to help with the international travelers growth.

Busiest domestic routes from AUS (May 2013 – April 2014)[27]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Dallas/Fort Worth, TX 589,000 American
2 Atlanta, GA 403,000 AirTran, Delta, Southwest
3 Dallas, TX (DAL) 318,000 Southwest
4 Denver, CO 309,000 Frontier, Southwest, United
5 Houston, TX (IAH) 294,000 United
6 Phoenix, AZ 248,000 Southwest, US Airways
7 Los Angeles, CA 229,000 American, Delta, Southwest, United
8 San Francisco,CA (SFO) 226,000 jetBlue, United, Virgin America
9 Chicago, IL (ORD) 209,000 American, United
10 New York, NY (JFK) 177,000 American, Delta, jetBlue
Top Airlines at ABIA (2013)
Rank Carriers Passengers
1 Southwest Airlines (Including Airtran Airways) 3,906,335
2 American Airlines 1,849,381
3 United Airlines 1,517,020
4 Delta Airlines 1,207,041
5 Jetblue Airways 641,426
6 US Airways 439,767
7 Frontier Airlines 163,967
8 Alaska Airlines 115,184
9 Virgin America 52,084
10 Allegiant Air 11,643

Cargo[edit]

While ABIA opened to passenger traffic in 1999, cargo operations began two years earlier in 1997. 2013 air cargo totaled 158,553,202 lbs., up 2% compared to 2012. International air cargo totaled 12,745,880 lbs., up 24%. Federal Express carried 103.5 million lbs., up 2.5%; and United Parcel Service carried 30.4 million lbs., down 2%.[28] The Austin area is served by the cargo carriers Baron Aviation Services, FedEx Express, UPS Airlines and DHL Aviation.[29]

Ground transportation[edit]

Capital Metro Airport Flyer

The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority operates "Airport Flyer" bus services to and from the University of Texas main campus, stopping in Downtown Austin each way.

The Austin-Bergstrom International Airport Site maintains a list of licensed and permitted transportation options: Bus, shuttle, taxi, car service, rentals, and more.

References[edit]

  1. ^ FAA Airport Master Record for AUS (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective July 29, 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Bergstrom Air Force Base: A 52-Year History of Service". Austin–Bergstrom International Airport. Retrieved August 28, 2011. 
  3. ^ Ayala-Talavera, Monica (January 30, 2014). "ABIA saw a record 10 million passengers in 2013". KXAN (Austin). 
  4. ^ "Primary Airports based on Preliminary CY2011 Enplanements". Federal Aviation Administration. p. 2. Retrieved August 21, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Nonstop flights out of ABIA". Austin–Bergstrom International Airport. City of Austin. Retrieved March 3, 2014. 
  6. ^ Austin airport has 2nd record year, Austin American-Statesman, January 25, 2007.
  7. ^ "Airport site stirs controversy". The Daily Texan. January 15, 1985. 
  8. ^ "Penn Field". Austin Explorer. Retrieved August 28, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Mueller Community – citiCite Pages – Robert Mueller Municipal Airport". Retrieved August 24, 2008. 
  10. ^ "Mueller Airport". Austin Explorer. Retrieved August 28, 2011. 
  11. ^ "History of the Airport". Austin–Bergstrom International Airport. City of Austin. Retrieved June 4, 2013. 
  12. ^ Eskenazi, Stuart. "Voters say Bergstrom is the only way to fly". Austin American-Statesman (Austin, TX). p. A1.  Retrieved May 28, 2010
  13. ^ Associated Press (May 23, 1999). "Austin–Bergstrom International Airport to take off today". Lubbock Online. Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Retrieved June 4, 2013. 
  14. ^ "History of the Airport". Austin–Bergstrom International Airport. City of Austin. Retrieved June 4, 2013. 
  15. ^ Alford, Andy. "Del Valle school district seeks 20.5-cent tax hike." Austin American-Statesman. September 3, 1998. Retrieved on May 9, 2011. "In 1997, voters approved $38.1 million to rebuild Del Valle's high school and three of five elementary schools to make way for the new Austin airport."
  16. ^ "A History of Del Valle" (Archive). Del Valle Independent School District. Retrieved on May 10, 2011.
  17. ^ Larry Speck UTopia Profile The University of Texas. Accessed June 23, 2006.
  18. ^ Austin-Bergstrom International Airport Shopping & Dining City of Austin, austintexas.gov, retrieved March 1, 2014
  19. ^ "Improvements are Underway", Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
  20. ^ VivaAerobus to cease operations out of Austin–Bergstrom Accessed May 16, 2009.
  21. ^ South Terminal Austin Accessed July 20, 2009.
  22. ^ a b "Fast Facts". Retrieved August 21, 2007. 
  23. ^ "Milestones: Austin–Bergstrom International Airport". Austin City Connection. Retrieved October 5, 2007. 
  24. ^ "Nonstop flights out of ABIA". Austin–Bergstrom International Airport. City of Austin. Retrieved February 8, 2014. 
  25. ^ 13/12/Summer-2014-Market-Changes-Chart.pdf
  26. ^ http://finance.yahoo.com/news/southwest-airlines-airtran-airways-extend-160000163.html;_ylt=A2KJ3Cb2jKpQXG8ALaHQtDMD
  27. ^ RITA | BTS | Transtats
  28. ^ "December 2013 passenger, cargo traffic at Austin-Bergstrom". Austin–Bergstrom International Airport. City of Austin. Retrieved February 7, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Air Cargo Information". Austin–Bergstrom International Airport. City of Austin. Retrieved February 7, 2014. 

External links[edit]