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Austin–Bergstrom International Airport Article

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Austin–Bergstrom International Airport
Austin–Bergstrom Logo.png
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport - aerial 01.jpg
Airport typePublic
OwnerCity of Austin
OperatorCity of Austin Aviation Department
Serves Greater Austin
Location Austin, Texas, U.S.
OpenedMay 23, 1999
Focus city for Southwest Airlines
Elevation  AMSL542 ft / 165 m
Coordinates 30°11′40″N 097°40′12″W / 30.19444°N 97.67000°W / 30.19444; -97.67000

30°11′40″N 097°40′12″W / 30.19444°N 97.67000°W / 30.19444; -97.67000
FAA airport diagram
FAA airport diagram
AUS is located in Texas
AUS is located in the US
Direction Length Surface
ft m
17L/35R 9,000 2,743 Concrete
17R/35L 12,250 3,734 Concrete
Number Length Surface
ft m
H1 60 18 Concrete
H2 60 18 Concrete
H3 50 15 Concrete
Statistics (2017)
Total Passengers13,889,305
Aircraft operations199,632

Austin–Bergstrom International Airport or ABIA ( IATA: AUS, ICAO: KAUS, FAA LID: AUS, formerly BSM) is a Class C international airport located in Austin, Texas, United States (the capital of Texas), and serving the Greater Austin metropolitan area, the 31st-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. [1] It is on the site of what was Bergstrom Air Force Base. The airport and Air Force base were named after Captain John August Earl Bergstrom, an officer who served with the 19th Bombardment Group. [3] The airport replaced Robert Mueller Municipal Airport as Austin's main airport.

A total of 13,889,305 passengers traveled through the Austin–Bergstrom International Airport in 2017. [4] The airport is now the 34th busiest airport for total passengers in the United States, and is the busiest airport in Texas outside of Dallas–Fort Worth or Houston. [5] Annual passenger total in 2017 increased by 11.5% from the previous record year of 2016.

Scheduled passenger service began at the airport on Sunday, May 23, 1999. [6] Currently, there are over 250 daily arrivals and 260 [7] daily departures on the typical weekday to 76 destinations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe. [8]



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 halfway to San Antonio on Interstate 35 to catch a flight. Afterwards, the city submitted a proposal to the United States Air Force for joint use of Bergstrom Air Force Base in 1976. The Air Force rejected the proposal in 1978 as being too disruptive to its operations.

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, but faced lawsuits from the Sierra Club and others concerned about the Manor location and its potential environmental impact. [9]

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 the land and runways to be converted for use as a civilian airport. The USAF also agreed not to demolish the existing facilities, including the nearly-pristine main runway. 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. [10] 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. [11]

Bergstom AFB's main runway, 17R/35L, was kept intact along with most of its taxiways, as its high weight rating and long length would facilitate eventual service by large long-range airliners while reducing construction costs. Bergstom's original secondary runway, 17L/35R, was closed and partially demolished to allow new sections of taxiway to directly connect the main runway to the terminal complex. A replacement 9,000-foot 17L/35R was built to the east of the terminal site, along with a general aviation complex to the inside of its southern half. Most of the existing military buildings including the original control tower were demolished and cleared to make way for the new terminal and substantial parking facilities, though a hangar complex and parking tarmac to the south was retained, along with a section of tarmac to the northeast of the primary runway which became the foundation for ABIA's freight terminal. A few other existing jet bridges were converted to access roads for ground vehicles, while the family housing area to the northwest would be leveled but some of the roads kept for a Texas Department of Transportation service facility. A large complex of Travis County facilities, including the county correctional facility and sheriff's training academy, already existed just off of the original base; these facilities were left untouched.

Bergstrom had the designator BSM until Mueller's final closure in 1999, when it took Mueller's IATA code of AUS. [10] Initial issues with flight scheduling and routing led to proposed plans to keep Mueller operating in parallel with Bergstrom for a few weeks, but residents near Mueller blocked such efforts by appealing to the FAA, who refused to delay the transfer of the AUS LID or to issue a new airport code for Mueller.


Approaching Austin Bergstrom International Airport. The upper-level roadway is for departures, while the lower-level roadway is for arrivals.

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. The Barbara Jordan passenger terminal was originally conceived as an 18-gate terminal facility with a footprint of a bit more than 500,000 square feet (46,000 m2). However, ABIA was expanded during construction to have 24 contact gates with jet bridges (named Gate 2-Gate 25) and 1 gate without a jet bridge (named Gate 1) for a total footprint of 660,000 sqft. [12]

The opening of the airport coincided with a considerable number of nonstop flights being operated into Austin from the Dallas Metroplex, as American Airlines had decided to compete with Southwest Airlines' scheduled service between Dallas Love Field (DAL) and Austin in addition to American and Delta Air Lines service between Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and AUS. [13] At the time, there were forty-two (42) nonstop flights every weekday being operated with mainline jet aircraft from the two primary airports located in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex to Austin. By contrast, this same OAG lists a combined total of twenty-four (24) nonstop flights every weekday at this time from the two primary airports serving the Houston area, Hobby Airport (HOU) and Intercontinental Airport (IAH), to Austin. [14] These schedules have evolved over time as Austin's population and economic importance has grown and airlines have introduced nonstop flights directly out of Austin instead of routing passengers through existing hubs in Dallas and Houston as they had done before.

The airport's first scheduled transatlantic service, to London–Heathrow, was inaugurated by British Airways in March 2014. Additional transatlantic service has been added since then, with Norwegian Air Shuttle launching seasonal service to London–Gatwick in 2018. [15] Lufthansa has announced service to Frankfurt that will begin on May 3, 2019. [16]


Austin–Bergstrom International Airport is currently in the final stages of preparing their 2040 master plan. Future plans call for, amongst other things, a new 10,000 ft runway and corresponding taxiway improvements, a new head-terminal for expanded check-in, security, and pick-up/drop-off where the existing Garage 1 is, and a new satellite concourse connected via a pedestrian bridge. [17]


Main Terminal

The passenger concourse at the Barbara Jordan Terminal

The 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. [18] The terminal is 660,000 square feet (61,000 m2) with a total of 25 gates, two of which can be used for wide-body aircraft.

There are several restaurants and food concessions inside the terminal, all but two of which are located inside the secured gate areas of the terminal. [19] Both American and United Airlines operate lounges for members of their executive lounge programs. 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's first expansion project was completed in the summer of 2015. It added an enlarged customs and immigration facility on the arrivals level capable of processing more than 600 passengers per hour, two domestic baggage claim belts, and an enlarged security checkpoint on the ticketing level. [20] In mid-2016, work began on a new 88,000 square feet (8,200 m2) pier on the east side of the terminal that will increase the total number of gates from 25 to 34. These gates will be spaced farther apart, and two gates will be equipped with dual jetbridges in order to accommodate additional flights operated by larger aircraft. The number of flexible-use gates that can accommodate both international and domestic flights will increase from two to six. [21] The extension will also include an 8,926 square foot Delta Sky Club with an outdoor sky deck. [22]

The terminal is connected to a 3,000 space parking garage used for public parking. A consolidated rental car facility that houses counter, pick up, drop off, service and cleaning facilities is connected via walkway to the terminal and parking garage. The addition of the rental car facility, completed in October 2015, allowed the 900 parking spaces previously used for rental cars on the top floor of the parking garage to be converted to additional close-in short-term parking.

South Terminal

Concessions in the Barbara Jordan Terminal
The Hilton Hotel-Austin-Bergstrom Airport, dubbed "The Roundagon", was originally built in 1968 as the administration building for Bergstrom Air Force Base

A secondary terminal known as the South Terminal Austin is used by ultra low-cost carriers Allegiant Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and VIA Air. The South Terminal is accessed from a separate entrance on the south side of the airport perimeter from Burleson Road; it cannot be accessed from either the main airport entrance from SH 71 or the Barbara Jordan terminal except by completely exiting the airport grounds. A shuttle runs between the two terminals. The facility has a retro look and three passenger gates without airbridges—passengers walk under a covered walkway to board the aircraft by stairs.

The second terminal was originally commissioned as a joint venture with the Mexican-based low-cost airline VivaAerobus, which commenced service from Austin on May 1, 2008. The 30,000 square foot building, which was part of the original Air Force Base facilities, was renovated to meet the standards of a no-frills carrier. VivaAerobus's service was short-lived due to an epidemic of swine flu in Mexico in the spring of 2009 that resulted in high cancellation and no-show rates among leisure travelers, the airline's target demographic. Facing steep losses, the carrier terminated all service to the United States on June 1, 2009. The South Terminal's operator announced the closure of the facility at the same time. [23]

In August 2015, the Austin City Council authorized a 30-year lease on the facility to LoneStar Airport Holdings, LLC, which proposed relocating the ultra-low-cost carriers Allegiant Airlines and Frontier Airlines from the Barbara Jordan Terminal. Both carriers had expressed interest in expanding service to Austin but faced physical constraints as the main terminal neared capacity during peak hours. The South Terminal underwent a $12 million renovation with a retro theme in the fall of 2016. [24] Allegiant Airlines's transfer from the Barbara Jordan terminal on April 13, 2017 marked the reopening of the South Terminal. Frontier, with recent expansion at ABIA, did not immediately relocate from the main terminal. But on November 15, 2018 the airline officially moved all operations to the South Terminal and remains there today. [25]


Runway 17R/35L, to the west of the terminal, is the original runway built and used by the Air Force. The 12,250-foot-long (3,730 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. [6]

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. [6] This runway contains a Category IIIB instrument landing system, the first in Austin.

The runways are watched over by a 227 foot tall air traffic control tower. [26] The tower formerly used by the Air Force has been demolished.

Airlines and destinations


Aeroméxico Connect Mexico City [27]
Air Canada Toronto–Pearson [28]
Alaska Airlines Portland (OR), San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (CA), Seattle/Tacoma [29]
Allegiant Air Albuquerque, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Memphis, Orlando/Sanford
Seasonal: Cleveland, Columbus–Rickenbacker, Fort Walton Beach, Pittsburgh
American Airlines Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York–JFK, Philadelphia, Phoenix–Sky Harbor [31]
British Airways London–Heathrow [32]
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–JFK, Salt Lake City, Seattle/Tacoma [33]
Delta Connection Cincinnati, Raleigh/Durham
Seasonal: Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Salt Lake City
Frontier Airlines Chicago–O’Hare (begins April 30, 2019), Denver, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Orange County, Orlando, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco (begins May 10, 2019), Washington–Dulles
Seasonal: Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Ontario, Seattle/Tacoma, Tampa
JetBlue Airways Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Long Beach, New York–JFK, Orlando [35]
Lufthansa Frankfurt (begins May 3, 2019) [36] [37]
Norwegian Air Shuttle Seasonal: London–Gatwick [38]
Southwest Airlines Albuquerque, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago–Midway, Dallas–Love, Denver, El Paso, Fort Lauderdale, Harlingen, Houston–Hobby, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Lubbock, Nashville, Newark, New Orleans, Oakland, Orlando, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Raleigh/Durham (begins June 9, 2019), Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (CA), St. Louis, Tampa, Washington–National
Seasonal: Cancún, Panama City (FL), Pensacola, Portland (OR), San José del Cabo
Spirit Airlines Baltimore (begins February 14, 2019), [40] Chicago–O’Hare (begins February 14, 2019), [40] Denver (begins February 14, 2019), [40] Detroit (begins February 14, 2019), [40] Fort Lauderdale (begins February 14, 2019), [40] Las Vegas (begins February 14, 2019), [40] Los Angeles (begins May 2, 2019), [40] New Orleans (begins February 14, 2019), [40] Orlando (begins February 14, 2019) [40] [41]
Sun Country Airlines Seasonal: Cancún, Minneapolis/St. Paul [42]
Taos Air Seasonal: Taos [43]
United Airlines Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, Newark, San Francisco, Washington–Dulles
Seasonal: Cancún
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington–Dulles [44]
Vacation Express Seasonal charter: Punta Cana [45]
ViaAir Amarillo, Baton Rouge, Birmingham (AL) (begins April 4, 2019), [46] Branson, Little Rock, Memphis (begins June 25, 2019), Tulsa
Seasonal: Tucson


DHL Aviation Cincinnati, Tulsa [48] [48]
FedEx Express Brownwood, El Paso, Fort Worth/Alliance, Los Angeles, Memphis, Portland (OR), San Angelo
UPS Airlines Houston-Intercontinental, Louisville, Miami, Monterrey


Top destinations

Busiest domestic routes from AUS
(October 2017 – September 2018)
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Atlanta, Georgia 536,140 Delta, Frontier, Southwest
2 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 517,240 American
3 Denver, Colorado 456,220 Frontier, Southwest, United
4 Los Angeles, California 404,760 American, Delta, Southwest, United
5 Houston–Intercontinental, Texas 344,620 United
6 Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Arizona 320,660 American, Frontier, Southwest
7 Dallas–Love, Texas 319,540 Southwest
8 Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 314,450 American, Spirit, United
9 New York–JFK, New York 260,870 American, Delta, JetBlue
10 San Francisco, California 260,420 Alaska, Southwest, United

Airline market share

Largest Airlines at AUS
(January 2018 – October 2018) [50]
Rank Carriers Passengers Share
1 Southwest Airlines 4,612,516 35.0%
2 American Airlines 2,339,503 17.7%
3 United Airlines 1,939,849 14.7%
4 Delta Air Lines 1,762,862 13.4%
5 Frontier Airlines 981,213 7.4%

Annual traffic

Annual passenger traffic at AUS; 1999–Present [51]
Year Passengers Year Passengers
1999 ?? 2009 8.2m
2000 ?? 2010 8.7m
2001 ?? 2011 9,080,875
2002 6.6m 2012 9,430,314
2003 6.6m 2013 10,017,958
2004 7.1m 2014 10,718,854
2005 7.5m 2015 11,897,959
2006 8.1m 2016 12,436,849
2007 8.7m 2017 13,889,306
2008 8.8m 2018


  1. ^ a b FAA Airport Master Record for AUS ( Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. effective July 29, 2010.
  2. ^ "Austin International Airport Total Operations and Traffic". February 1, 2018. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  3. ^ "Bergstrom Air Force Base: A 52-Year History of Service". Austin–Bergstrom International Airport. Retrieved August 28, 2011.
  4. ^ "December 2017 Passenger, Cargo traffic at Austin–Bergstrom". Austin. February 1, 2018.
  5. ^ "Calendar Year 2014 Passenger Boardings at Commercial Service Airports" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. p. 1. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
  6. ^ a b c "". Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  7. ^ "myStatesman". Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  8. ^ "Austin Destinations". Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  9. ^ "Airport site stirs controversy". The Daily Texan. January 15, 1985.
  10. ^ a b "History of the Airport". Austin–Bergstrom International Airport. City of Austin. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
  11. ^ Eskenazi, Stuart. "Voters say Bergstrom is the only way to fly". Austin American-Statesman. Austin, TX. p. A1. Retrieved May 28, 2010
  12. ^ "Austin–Bergstrom International Airport to take off today". Lubbock Online. Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Associated Press. May 23, 1999. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
  13. ^ June 1, 1999 Official Airline Guide (OAG) DAL/DFW to AUS flight schedules
  14. ^, June 1, 1999 Official Airline Guide (OAG), HOU/IAH to AUS flight schedules
  15. ^ "Norwegian announces nonstop service from Austin to London Gatwick Airport". Austin–Bergstrom International Airport. City of Austin. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  16. ^ "Lufthansa announces nonstop service from Austin to Frankfurt". Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  17. ^ "PROPOSED ALTERNATIVES - ABIA Master Plan". Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  18. ^ Larry Speck UTopia Profile Archived June 17, 2006, at the Wayback Machine The University of Texas. Accessed June 23, 2006.
  19. ^ Austin–Bergstrom International Airport Shopping & Dining City of Austin,, retrieved March 1, 2014
  20. ^’s-airport
  21. ^ "More Gates, More Parking, More Amenities at Austin Airport". Austin American Statesman. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  22. ^ "Delta Sky Club". Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  23. ^ VivaAerobus to cease operations out of Austin–Bergstrom Archived May 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine Accessed May 16, 2009.
  24. ^ "LoneStar shows South Terminal renovation plans". Austin–Bergstrom International Airport. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
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  28. ^ "Flight Schedules". Retrieved April 6, 2017.
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  30. ^ "Flight schedules and notifications". Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  31. ^ "Flight schedules and notifications". Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  32. ^ "Timetables". Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  33. ^ a b "FLIGHT SCHEDULES". Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  34. ^ "Kayak Direct Flight List". Retrieved December 30, 2018.
  35. ^ "JetBlue Airlines Timetable". Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  36. ^ "Lufthansa Group optimizes hub management of the net-work airlines and prepares for moderate growth in summer 2019". Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  37. ^ "Timetable - Lufthansa United States". Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  38. ^ "Norwegian Air Shuttle Destinations". Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  39. ^ "Check Flight Schedules". Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  40. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Spirit Airlines adds Austin service from Feb 2019". Routes Online. November 2018. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  41. ^ "Spirit Airlines Route Map". Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  42. ^ "Sun Country Airlines". Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  43. ^ Moya, Jesse Taos Air announces Texas flights, Taos News, October 11, 2018, retrieved 2018-10-11
  44. ^ a b "Timetable". Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  45. ^ "Vacation Express Non-Stop Flights". Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  46. ^
  47. ^ "Route Map". Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  48. ^ a b "DHL Flightaware". Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  49. ^ "RITA – BTS – Transtats". BTS. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  50. ^ "October 2018 Passenger, Cargo traffic at Austin–Bergstrom | – The Official Website of the City of Austin". Retrieved 2019-01-06.
  51. ^ "Airport Activity Reports - Passenger & Air Cargo Traffic". Retrieved 26 July 2018.

External links

Media related to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport at Wikimedia Commons