City of AustinFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUSTIN, Texas –Dozens of Central Texas and Austin leaders gathered today at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), including Congressman Doggett, Congressman Casar, Austin Mayor Kirk Watson, and Austin City Councilmembers Vanessa Fuentes and Ryan Alter to celebrate the groundbreaking of the West Gate Expansion. This project is one of the near-term Journey With AUS expansion projects that will improve the Central Texas airport that continues to serve a record-breaking volume of passenger and airline activities.
“This is just the start of a series of transformative airport projects that will modernize and improve the AUS experience for everyone,” said Mayor Kirk Watson. “We know more is needed, and more is coming to make travel comfortable, exciting and easy. The Journey With AUS will bring unique changes to the traveler experience as we navigate turning this 24/7 facility into an active construction site. The flurry of construction activities mixed with passengers and airport operations will be a big change for our community as we make progress on this project and other expansion projects, like a new concourse, but it will be worth it to have a home airport every Austinite can be proud of.”
The West Gate Expansion project will increase terminal space beyond its current gates 33 and 34 totaling an additional 84,500 gross square feet over three levels of apron, concourse and mezzanine space. The expansion will add amenities that children, families, and travelers of all ages will enjoy such as new food and retail spaces, public art through the City of Austin Arts in Public Places Program, more seating areas, the largest restrooms in the terminal, quiet places for relaxation and private rooms for nursing or pumping, and an exciting third-level outdoor public patio with amazing views of the city skyline. The project will construct three new gates that will eventually offset the closure of existing gates during future construction activities.
“Following the post-pandemic surge in air travel demand, we must modernize and improve our airport,” said Robert Goode, Interim Assistant City Manager. “I applaud the teams at the Department of Aviation for their fast-acting responsiveness in bringing this project from conception to breaking ground in and look forward to providing our airport guests with more space, more amenities and an improved experience.”
The Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is dedicated to expanding in an environmentally conscious way by setting a goal of a 3-Star certification sustainability from the Austin Energy Green Building (AEGB). Like all airport improvements, no local Austin taxpayer dollars will be used to fund the project. The improvements will be funded through traditional airport development funding sources, such as airport cash reserves, current and future airport revenues and future revenue bond proceeds. AUS is currently evaluating opportunities for federal grant funding to support the project.
Enabling work began this summer and the expansion is estimated to open in 2026. In the meantime, travelers can expect construction walls during demolition work between gates 33 and 34, but a longer-term wall will be built by spring 2024. It is also important to note that the concession, I Vinni, on the concourse between gates 29 and 30 will be permanently removed in early 2024. Furniture in waiting areas will be moved to accommodate the expansion progress, but additional seating will be added to the concourse walkway. Although the area is under construction, all current gates on the west side will remain operational.
“This project will deliver much-needed relief for our travelers and our airport,” said Somer Shindler, AUS Chief Development Officer. “This is just the beginning of our journey to invest billions of dollars into our airport over the next decade to serve the needs of travelers and airline partners today and in generations to come, all while driving economic prosperity for our community.”