Austin-Bergstrom International Airport will receive $15 million to continue its expansion efforts through the bipartisan Infrastructure Act, U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, announced July 7.
“The Infrastructure Act that we successfully passed despite opposition from every other Central Texas member is now also successfully raising funds right here in Austin to begin to deliver on our plans to expand airport that we so badly need,” Doggett said in a press release.
On July 7, the Biden administration announced that the Federal Aviation Administration would award nearly $1 billion to 85 county airports under the bipartisan Infrastructure Act Airport Terminal Program.
“The general expansion plan is to ensure that we invest locally to help our airport grow rapidly at this time, to ensure that it efficiently manages and processes all the passengers who now pass through the airport. of Austin,” Kate Stotesbery said. , Deputy Chief and Director of Communications for Doggett.
ABIA will use the $15 million prize to fund its airport expansion and development program, which focuses on expanding and improving the Barbara Jordan Terminal, said Sam Haynes, acting director of the airport. public information and marketing of ABIA. Construction of a new baggage handling system for outbound baggage and remote boarding gates for Gate 13 is scheduled to begin this summer.
The airport completed its first project under the program, a new TSA security checkpoint, in December. Expansion efforts for TSA Checkpoint 3 and three new west side gates are still in the design phase.
“Austin and Central Texas are experiencing phenomenal growth,” Haynes said. “The region as a whole has taken in more people and businesses since the pandemic, which means more people are leaving [ABIA] than ever before.”
Expecting to carry 22 million passengers this year, 2022 has been a banner year for ABIA, Haynes said. With more than 2 million passengers, May was reported as the busiest month in the airport’s history, an increase of almost 83% in passenger traffic compared to May 2021.
“Growth broke records on an ongoing basis and defied our projections and post-pandemic recovery expectations,” Haynes said. “We originally projected that it would take until 2023 or even 2024 to return to pre-pandemic passenger activity, but now in 2022 we are exceeding that.”
Haynes said there is no set timeline for when ABIA will receive the $15 million.