Dozens of Central Texas and Austin leaders gathered at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) to celebrate the groundbreaking of the West Gate Expansion.
The initiative is one of the near-term Journey With AUS expansion projects that will improve the Central Texas airport.
“This is just the start of a series of transformative airport projects that will modernise 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 traveller 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 expansion will add new food and retail spaces
The West Gate Expansion project will increase terminal space beyond existing gates 33 and 34 totalling an additional 84,500 sq ft over three levels of apron, concourse and mezzanine space. The expansion will add amenities 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.
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). 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.
Terminal space will increase by 84,500 sq ft
Enabling work began this summer and the expansion is estimated to open in 2026. In the meantime, travellers can expect construction walls during demolition work between gates 33 and 34, but a longer-term wall will be built by spring 2024. All current gates on the west side will remain operational.
“This project will deliver much-needed relief for our travellers 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 travellers and airline partners today and in generations to come, all while driving economic prosperity for our community.”
Images: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport