The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will award US$12,752,721 in airport infrastructure grants to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Texas.
The grant includes US$10.1m in discretionary funds to be used for the final phase of expanding the paved aircraft area around the terminal by 48 acres and enlarging existing taxi lanes on the apron around the terminal. This will better accommodate larger and more aircraft at Austin’s airport.
“These grants will help Austin better serve the flying public, which will strengthen the economy and create jobs in this community,” said US DOT Secretary Elaine L Chao.
“In our mobile society, we need infrastructure that can keep up with our increasing demands,” added US Senator John Cornyn. “Thanks to this grant, the Austin airport will be more efficient and ultimately safer for traveling Texans. I’m proud to have supported this funding in the Senate and grateful to the Trump Administration for supporting Texans traveling to and from Austin.”
The aircraft apron expansion is a vital part of Austin’s airport expansion projects which are underway to keep up with current growth, prepare for future passenger increases, accommodate larger jets and expand air service for Austin.
A related expansion will add nine new gates to the airport terminal. The expanded facility will increase the annual capacity of Austin’s airport to 15 million. The existing facility was designed to serve 11 million passengers per year. In 2017, 13.89 million passengers traveled through Austin’s airport.
“The support of Senator Cornyn and the Department of Transportation is instrumental to airport growth and greatly appreciated,” said Jim Smith, executive director, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. “Being able to accommodate larger and more aircraft positions at Austin’s airport better serves the Central Texas community by making our airport more attractive for domestic and international air service growth.”
The recent grant continues the support from the DOT and FAA for Austin airport’s apron expansion. Phase I of the apron expansion was awarded US$14,518,190 in 2016, and Phase II of the apron expansion was awarded US$14,938,574 in 2017.