|Austin-Bergstrom International Airport|
|Owner||City of Austin|
|Operator||City of Austin Aviation Department|
|Location||Austin, Texas, U.S.|
|Opened||May 23, 1999|
|Focus city for|
|Elevation AMSL||542 ft / 165 m|
FAA airport diagram
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. 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. The airport replaced Robert Mueller Municipal Airport as Austin's main airport.
A total of 12,436,849 passengers traveled through the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in 2016. The airport is now the 34th busiest airport for total passengers in the United States--the busiest airport in Texas outside of Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston. Annual passenger total in 2016 increased by 4.5% from the previous record year of 2015.
Scheduled passenger service began at the airport on Sunday, May 23, 1999. Currently, there are over 250 daily arrivals and 260 daily departures on the typical weekday to 63 destinations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe.
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. 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. 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 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.
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.
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 large new wide body planes such as the Boeing 747. However, other wide body jetliners such as American Airlines Boeing 767s and McDonnell Douglas DC-10s as well as Continental Airlines narrow body Boeing 720Bs were regularly scheduled into Mueller 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 jet bridges existed at this time.
Mueller's longest runway was 7,269 feet (2,216 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.
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.
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, thus returning control of the land to the City of Austin. 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.
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.
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.
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 rebuild the schools in a new location. Baty Elementary, Hillcrest Elementary, Popham Elementary, and Del Valle High School moved.
Bergstrom had the designator BSM until Mueller's final closure in 1999, when it took Mueller's IATA code of AUS. 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.
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 660,000 square feet (61,000 m2) Barbara Jordan passenger terminal, which are designed for eventual expansion to 52 gates at the primary terminal plus additional satellite concourses possible. Originally conceived as an 18-gate terminal facility with a footprint of a bit more than 500,000 square feet (46,000 m2), ABIA was expanded during construction to incorporate additional gates for a total of 25 gates with a footprint of 660,000 sqft.
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. 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.
These schedules have evolved over time as Austin's population and economic importance has grown and airlines have introduced non-stop flights directly out of Austin instead of routing passengers through existing hubs in Dallas and Houston as they had done before. The airport now offers nonstop flights from a variety of carriers to and from a number of destinations including London, England (LHR), Toronto, Canada (YYZ), Phoenix (PHX), Washington DC (IAD and DCA), Chicago (MDW and ORD), Minneapolis (MSP), Atlanta (ATL), New York (JFK and EWR), Philadelphia (PHL), Portland, OR (PDX), Denver (DEN), Detroit (DTW), Miami (MIA), Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA) and other major cities.
The airport's first scheduled transatlantic service, to London-Heathrow, was inaugurated by British Airways in March 2014. The route is operated by a scheduled combination of the four-class (first, business, premium economy, economy) Boeing 777-200 aircraft, seating 222 passengers, and the four-class Boeing 787-9 aircraft, seating 216 passengers. Austin was British Airways' first U.S. destination to which the 787-9 operated scheduled service. Austin was also the first destination in British Airways' system to which a revenue flight was operated by the 787-9, on October 6, 2015. The route will be operated with a Boeing 747-400 aircraft for the summer 2018 season, which will be the largest passenger aircraft operating scheduled service into ABIA.
Condor, a German leisure airline owned by the Thomas Cook Group, began twice-weekly seasonal service to Frankfurt utilizing a 259-seat Boeing 767-300 aircraft in 2016. Norwegian Air Shuttle has announced three-times-weekly service to London-Gatwick on Boeing 787-9 aircraft, beginning March 27, 2018.
During the 2018 SxSW technology, film and music festival, additional international flights will be operated by major carriers. Delta will operate four flights to Amsterdam with a Boeing 767-300ER, and Scandinavian Airlines will operate two round trip flights to Stockholm-Arlanda on an Airbus A330.
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. The terminal is 660,000 square feet (61,000 m2) with a total of 25 gates, two of which can be used for international arrivals.
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. 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." 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 First and Club World passengers also have access to American's facilities.
The Barbara Jordan Terminal's first major expansion project - the East Terminal Infill - 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.
In summer 2016, work began on a new 88,000 square feet (8,200 m2) pier on the east side of the terminal (where gates 2 and 3 are presently located), that will increase the total number of gates from 25 to 33. 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. The extension will also include a third airline lounge.
The terminal is connected to a 3000 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.
A secondary terminal known as the South Terminal Austin is used by ultra low cost carrier Allegiant Airlines, Sun Country 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.
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. Allegiant Airlines's transfer from the Barbara Jordan terminal on April 13, 2017 marked the reopening of the South Terminal.
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.
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. 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. The tower formerly used by the Air Force has been demolished.
|Aeroméxico Connect||Mexico City|||
|Air Canada||Toronto-Pearson (begins May 1, 2018)|||
|Air Canada Express||Toronto-Pearson (ends April 30, 2018)|||
|Alaska Airlines||Portland (OR), Seattle-Tacoma|||
||San Diego, San Jose (CA)|||
|Allegiant Air||Albuquerque, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus-Rickenbacker (begins February 16, 2018),Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Memphis, Orlando-Sanford, Pittsburgh, St. Petersburg/Clearwater
Seasonal: Fort Walton Beach
|American Airlines||Charlotte, Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York-JFK, Philadelphia, Phoenix-Sky Harbor|||
|American Eagle||Miami, Phoenix-Sky Harbor
Seasonal: Charlotte, Chicago-O'Hare, Los Angeles
|Delta Air Lines||Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-JFK, Salt Lake City, Seattle-Tacoma|||
|Delta Connection||Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Raleigh-Durham, Salt Lake City
|Frontier Airlines||Charlotte (begins April 8, 2018),Cincinnati (begins April 8, 2018),Denver, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Ontario, Phoenix-Sky Harbor, Raleigh-Durham, San Diego, San Jose (CA) (begins April 9, 2018),Washington-Dulles
Seasonal: Atlanta, Chicago-O'Hare, Cleveland (begins April 9, 2018),Columbus-Glenn (begins April 8, 2018),Orlando, Philadelphia
|JetBlue Airways||Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Long Beach, New York-JFK, Orlando|||
|Norwegian Air Shuttle
||London-Gatwick (begins March 27, 2018)|||
|Southwest Airlines||Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago-Midway, Dallas-Love, Denver, El Paso, Fort Lauderdale, Harlingen, Houston-Hobby, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Lubbock, Nashville, Newark, New Orleans, Oakland, Orlando, Phoenix-Sky Harbor, Sacramento (begins April 8, 2018),San Diego, San Francisco (begins April 8, 2018),San José (CA), Seattle-Tacoma (ends January 5, 2018), St. Louis, Tampa, Washington-National
Seasonal: Albuquerque, Cancún, Indianapolis (begins April 8, 2018),Memphis, Portland (OR), Pensacola, Panama City (FL), San José del Cabo
|Sun Country Airlines||Seasonal: Minneapolis/St. Paul|||
|United Airlines||Chicago-O'Hare, Denver, Houston-Intercontinental, Newark, San Francisco, Washington-Dulles
Seasonal: Cancún, Los Angeles
|United Express||Chicago-O'Hare, Denver, Houston-Intercontinental, Newark, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington-Dulles|||
||Seasonal charter: Punta Cana (begins May 28, 2018)|||
|ViaAir||Oklahoma City (begins January 18, 2018),Tucson (begins January 18, 2018)
Seasonal: Branson, Hayden/Steamboat Springs
|Virgin America||San Francisco|||
While ABIA opened to passenger traffic in 1999, cargo operations began two years earlier in 1997. 2015 air cargo totaled 157,484,666 lbs., up 1% compared to 2014. International air cargo totaled 19,588,001 pounds (8,884.968 t)., down 1% and belly freight totaled 16,300,000 pounds (7,400 t), down 3.5%. Federal Express carried 85,100,000 pounds (38,600 t)., down 6.5%; and United Parcel Service carried 30,100,000 pounds (13,700 t), up 0.3%. The Austin area is served by the cargo carriers Baron Aviation Services, FedEx Express, UPS Airlines and DHL Aviation. The arrival of British Airways at ABIA in 2014 has been credited with reinvigorating international cargo traffic at ABIA, with international cargo expanding over 200% in the flight's first month of operation. International cargo rates for January-June 2014 showed an 87% increase over the same period in 2013.
operated by Air Transport International
operated by Atlas Air
operated by Kalitta Charters
|FedEx Express||El Paso, Los Angeles, Memphis|
operated by Baron Aviation Services
|Brownwood, Fort Worth/Alliance, San Angelo|
|UPS Airlines||Louisville, Monterrey|
Currently Southwest Airlines is the airline flying with the most passengers out of AUS. In 2015, Southwest Airlines flew a total of 4,371,303. American Airlines and its US Airways subsidiary (with which it completed a merger in October 2015), flew a total of 2,143,084 passengers and United Airlines flew a total of 1,969,167 passengers, with Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, Frontier Airlines and Alaska Airlines also carrying a significant number of passengers. 2015 saw new service from Air Canada Express to Toronto, along with new nonstop destinations Cincinnati (Allegiant), Memphis (Allegiant, Southwest), Miami (American Airlines), Orlando-Sanford (Allegiant), Portland, Oregon (Alaska, Southwest), and St Louis (Southwest), and the announcement that German carrier Condor will begin seasonal service to Frankfurt, Germany in 2016, ABIA's second scheduled transatlantic service. A new customs facility was completed in December 2014 to help accommodate the recent growth in international travelers.
|1||Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas||531,000||American|
|2||Atlanta, Georgia||474,000||Delta, Frontier, Southwest|
|3||Denver, Colorado||417,000||Frontier, Southwest, United|
|4||Los Angeles, California||369,000||American, Delta, Southwest, United|
|7||Chicago-O'Hare, Illinois||312,000||American, Frontier, United|
|8||Phoenix-Sky Harbor, Arizona||274,000||American, Southwest|
|9||San Francisco, California||239,000||United, Virgin America|
|10||New York-JFK, New York||220,000||American, Delta, JetBlue|
|4||Delta Air Lines||1,530,740|
Annual passenger traffic (enplaned + deplaned).
The Austin-Bergstrom International Airport website maintains a list of licensed and permitted transportation options: Bus, shuttle, taxi, car service, rentals, and more.
Media related to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport at Wikimedia Commons