ABIA one step closer to expansion goals

Major construction projects are underway at ABIA.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Growth in Austin isn’t slowing down, and our airport is trying to keep up.

Major construction projects are going on at Austin Bergstrom International Airport, and this week, the facility is one step closer to its expansion goals. Austin City Council approved an architect selection and funding up to $18 million for the airport.

“The fact that we have record numbers of travelers is all about Austin’s economy,” says ABIA spokesman, Jim Halbrook. “Because economy really keys air travel.”

With the expansion, folks can look forward to 900 new parking spots and several more gates. The terminal expansion will also allow for quicker traffic through the airport and will serve 13 million passengers, up from 11 million.

“There will be 10 new security lanes for passengers to go through and the lower level will be our new customs facility,” said Halbrook. “Will increase efficiency and speed of processing for international arrivals.”

“I think we’ve needed it for a while,” says passenger, Marti Mcconnell. “It’s been a long time coming.”

Mcconnell has lived in Austin for eight years, and is ready for a bigger airport.

“It’s crowded, all the time, it’s crowded all the time, and it’s a little unorganized.”

But others wish things didn’t have to change, and like the airport’s simplicity.

“One door in, one door out, it’s really easy,” said passenger, Michael Mayfield. “Versus DFW where you have terminals on both sides of the highway going in and it’s very confusing to get in and out.”

However, with the growth demands in our city, these upgrades likely won’t be the last.

Airport officials say the projects are expected to be complete in 2015.

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