AUSTIN, Texas — It has been a long time coming. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport just opened nine new gates at the Barbara Jordan terminal.
The airport once served a much smaller city when it opened in 1999. Now, it has grown to have nine nonstop international flights.
"We're always trying to see what we can do to improve the passenger experience,” Bryce Dubee, a spokesman for the airport, said.
On Thursday, the airport opened a $350 million expansion. However, this adds capacity for only 15 million passengers. The airport is already at 15.8 million.
ABIA said the South Terminal mitigates that overpopulation because Frontier Airlines operates there.
“Last year, we saw Frontier Airlines have about 1.4 million passengers come through,” Dubee said. “With that relocation, that will divert some of that and allow a little more breathing room from the Barbara Jordan Terminal to the South Terminal.”
The airport's 2040 plan prepares for double the amount of passengers.
It brings the current 37 gates to 66 gates and creates a north terminal and 20-gate middle concourse.
The plan also includes a new ticketing, baggage claim and security area.
The current parking garage across from arrivals and departures is expected to be demolished and moved south.
“By 2040, there's going to be a complete change to a lot of what you see here at the airport,” Dubee said.
The airport said it does not have any plans for the south terminal.
The 2040 plan still needs FAA approval. No word yet when exactly construction will start – but it is expected to be finished in about five years.