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ABIA Expansion Thread

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Warning: I'm a building/ infrastructure dork. Skip to end of post to news about Airpot Food.

 

 

Cap Metro announced different options of eventually getting transit to the airport. Personally, I don't think there is a real need for rail to the airport until we have a 2nd terminal and double the amount of daily employees but rail to the airport makes dicks hard for some reason. 

Both options are extensions of a Riverside Rail/BRT line that starts at Downtown (4th and Guad).

zaBf1eB.jpg

Option 1: Line stays on Riverside at 71 intersection and hits Airport's west side. It tunnels underneath the runway/taxiway to get to the area near the new airport admin offices, public garage and rental car facility. There is a strong possibility that this is the future entrance of the main terminal but we won't know until later this year. This might be a problem since it would require East-West tunneling and the airport has to reserve North-South tunneling for future roadway connections between the north and south. I'm sure it's still doable but might require deeper tunnel. 


Option 2: Line turns from Riverside to 71 and terminates at airport entrance near 71. After thinking about it, I kind of like this option better because it would be way cheaper and serve as a possible continuation point to Del Valley/COTA as it grows. It could also go to the planned (NOT FUNDED) high speed rail from Dallas to Mexico which would pass east of the airport in Austin. Again, It would be way way way way cheaper. People would need to take some kind of connection vehicle from the rail stop to the terminal and the Master Plan has thrown around installation a smart transit system at the airport like Modutram, vector or 2getthere.  The smart transit system would link together the terminal with the rail stop, hilton hotel, and other shit on the grounds.

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New Master Plan

Work continues on the new Master Plan. It is scheduled to be formally submitted for approval by ABIA by may but will have to go to council after that. It will basically govern airport expansion over the next 20 years. The next expansion could be a brand new terminal south of the tower. Another possible terminal expansion option is adding 2 piers to the southside of the main terminal which would add 30 more gates. However, the increase in passenger capacity which would require the old short term garage to be demolished so a new processing/security/baggage facility could be built in order to support the additional passengers. That would mean the main entrance to the terminal would be in front of the two new garages. The existing security/bagage area would be incorporated into front of house (past security) use  so everything wouldn't be so damned cramped.  The new garage on Lot A will more than replace the loss of the old short term garage. 

New Runways

Part of the new plan is also looking at the runway situation. The current east runway needs maintenance which might mean a 3rd runway will be needed earlier than traffic dictates. The best option for the airport is to build a Far East runway but it would require moving all or most of the Travis County Prison, Closing FM 973, burying 130, building on flood land and buying out some people's houses. So....fucking expensive.  The advantage is that it would be far enough away from the current east runway that it could have simultaneous takeoffs and landings. There are options to build parallel runways next to the existing runways but they would be too close to have simultaneous operations. The super cheap option is to build a 3rd runway between the west runway and main terminal but it can't operate independently from the west runway and would restrict further westward expansion of the main terminal which you might want if your plan is to build a new operations facility where the old short term garage is.

Airport Interested in Leasing Open Land

The city put out a call for interest in land on the west side of the airport. The portion closest to 183 would be aviation themed retail but the bulk of the land would be for some kind of cargo/plane operation that could support 8 cargo buildings, tons of truck docks and staging and 25-30 parked planes.That could be someone like Amazon that wants to start their own airline fleet and needs space for their planes and facility for managing cargo or Delta for maintaining a fleet of planes if they are expanding Austin service.  This is to see who is formally interested in the land and what they would do with it. The airport would have to put out a subsequent request for proposals to start the process of actually signing a deal with another company.  I think the hope is that Delta would submit formal interest to using some of the land to house offices/planes for expanded future operations at ABIA but it could also be a move to generate more money from expanded freight operations from Fedex or UPS.

 

 

Current Construction Projects

- 9 Gate Extension of Main Terminal eastward and increased taxiway/pavement(2019). Expanded section will be much wider than the rest of the airport and provide a %30 increase in concourse space.  Along with nine new gates, the expansion includes the replacement of three existing gates, and all gates can accommodate domestic airline operations. Four gates will accommodate international flights. The expanded terminal will accommodate approximately 4 million additional passengers per year for a total of 15 million annual passengers – an increase of 27 percent. New stores in the expansion include: 24 Diner, Parkside, and a duty free store.

-Admin Office Building(2019) and Parking Garage (2018). The former Lot A location accommodated 1,021 parking spaces. The new garage with 6,000 significantly increases parking capacity in that area. Project also includes new entry plazas to the parking lots, garages and to the Rental Car Facility Enlarging and upgrading the north exit plaza to meet the demands of the expanded parking operations. Also Upgrades to signs along Presidential Blvd. 

-New Consolidated Maintenance Complex. 6-7 building complex at the far northeast end of the airport grounds that will house all of the maintenance needs of the airport which (IIRC) will allow for all of those old airfare buildings near the tower and south terminal to be demolished. It should start construction soon.

-ABIA Retail and New Cell Phone Lot (2018)  Just off Presidential Blvd. and Spirit of Texas Drive, at the same site as the previous free cell phone lot, construction has progressed to the tenant improvement phase. Texaco brand gasoline will be sold at the station and a 2,600 square foot Austin Java coffee store will operate with a drive-thru. A duel Subway sandwich restaurant and TacoN Mama location will operate at the site. The gas pumps and 4,500 square foot convenience store are estimated to open in May of 2018 with the restaurants following a month later.

 

March Construction Update

-A total of 284 of the estimated 310 concrete piers needed have been placed as the work to construct the Austin airport’s new 6,000 parking space garage continues. Piers reaching depths up to 71-feet and ranging from 24 to 66-inches in diameter will support the new six-story parking garage 

-The construction of ABIA Retail, the new cell phone lot, gas station, convenience store and restaurants, is nearly 85 percent complete.

-Delta Air Lines announced the inclusion of a 9,000 square foot Delta Sky Club to be located in the 9-gate expansion of the Barbara Jordan Terminal that is currently under constructio

-Construction work to replace and modernize bag Carousel 3 has started. Carousel 1 was updated last year.

 

Food and Store News

-The construction wall near Gate 8 signifies the building of a new Departure Lounge and Berry Austin frozen yogurt at the Austin airport. An upscale interactive travel discovery location, the 1,230 square foot Departure Lounge will showcase future travel vacations and getaways. The lounge will offer appointments with travel advisors and serve organic coffees, small- batch boutique wines, artisan chocolates, and cheeses.  The new 300 square foot Berry Austin airport location will offer uniquely flavored yogurt recipes from founder Kathy Steele, who opened her flagship location in central Austin in 2009. With 10 flavors of frozen yogurt and 50 available toppings, Berry Austin will also offer smoothies, parfaits, floats and other treats.

-BookPeople, the largest independently-owned bookstore in Austin is open at its re-designed location at the Austin airport.

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Love this stuff.  It’s amazing how many people are traveling though ABIA.  Every month seems to be a new record.  If I recall correctly, we weren’t expected to hit our numbers until the early-mid 2020s.  

Likewise, I’ll never understand the constant desire to have rail to an airport.  Outside of perhaps a stadium or arena on gamedays, you’ll find a greater contingent of cabs, taxis, busses, etc. at the airport than any other place in the city.  I don’t think I’ve ever had to wait more than 3-4 minutes for a ride at a major US airport.

Why has there been such a pressing need for a third runway?  Heathrow, Gatwick, Dubai and a dozen+ other international airports operate with two or less runways and each have exponentially more traffic than ABIA.  

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A 3rd runway isn't necessary, but endless airport construction is the greatest job security in the industry.

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1 hour ago, Chet Steadman said:

Love this stuff.  It’s amazing how many people are traveling though ABIA.  Every month seems to be a new record.  If I recall correctly, we weren’t expected to hit our numbers until the early-mid 2020s.  

Likewise, I’ll never understand the constant desire to have rail to an airport.  Outside of perhaps a stadium or arena on gamedays, you’ll find a greater contingent of cabs, taxis, busses, etc. at the airport than any other place in the city.  I don’t think I’ve ever had to wait more than 3-4 minutes for a ride at a major US airport.

Why has there been such a pressing need for a third runway?  Heathrow, Gatwick, Dubai and a dozen+ other international airports operate with two or less runways and each have exponentially more traffic than ABIA.  

I’ve heard that rail to the airport is the kind of thing that makes sense to the average voter, even though it doesn’t make economic sense, so it’s the kind of prestige thing that can get a transportation bond package passed.

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12 hours ago, Chet Steadman said:

Love this stuff.  It’s amazing how many people are traveling though ABIA.  Every month seems to be a new record.  If I recall correctly, we weren’t expected to hit our numbers until the early-mid 2020s.  

Likewise, I’ll never understand the constant desire to have rail to an airport.  Outside of perhaps a stadium or arena on gamedays, you’ll find a greater contingent of cabs, taxis, busses, etc. at the airport than any other place in the city.  I don’t think I’ve ever had to wait more than 3-4 minutes for a ride at a major US airport.

Why has there been such a pressing need for a third runway?  Heathrow, Gatwick, Dubai and a dozen+ other international airports operate with two or less runways and each have exponentially more traffic than ABIA.  

A third runway is necessary if you want ABIA to be anything more than a nice regional airport.  If you have any hope of ABIA ever being a hub--and if you favor economic development in Austin, you need to have a hub--then you need a third (and probably a fourth) runway.

LHR and DXB are really poor analogies.  For one thing, LHR is very tightly slot controlled, and its congestion is a constant problem.  But for another, both LHR and DXB are major long-haul hubs that Austin will never be.  And so the type of need they're catering to is entirely different.  LHR is going to have flights to Dallas and Dubai and Dehli and Dhaka--but it'll only have a handful per day to each city.  LHR doesn't have the type of short-haul traffic that Austin has (and needs).  For example, there are only 15 flights a day from LHR to CDG.  In contrast, there are at least fifteen flights a day from AUS to Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. 

In other words--by being a mid-continent city in the middle of a large country with a high number of domestic flights, AUS is going to have a surprisingly high number of aircraft movements vis-a-vis large international hubs like LHR and DXB.

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12 hours ago, DaysOff said:

A 3rd runway isn't necessary, but endless airport construction is the greatest job security in the industry.

And the powers that are didn't steal enough from the initial construction project 20 years ago.

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I'm not sure what the timing is on the 3rd runway. High projections put our current runways at %60 capacity in 2037. I think an issue might be that they have to close the east runway for up to a year for repairs and I'm not sure what our capacity would be with just the west runway.

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12 minutes ago, Pasken said:

I'm not sure what the timing is on the 3rd runway. High projections put our current runways at %60 capacity in 2037. I think an issue might be that they have to close the east runway for up to a year for repairs and I'm not sure what our capacity would be with just the west runway.

So the CoA fucked up that east runway project too?

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1 minute ago, Armybrat said:

So the CoA fucked up that east runway project too?

I don't know the story there or if it's true.

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20 hours ago, Pasken said:

Airport Selling Land

The city put out a call for bids for land on the west side of the airport. The portion closest to 183 would be aviation themed retail but the bulk of the land would be for some kind of cargo/plane operation that could support 8 cargo buildings, tons of truck docks and staging and 25-30 parked planes.That could be someone like Amazon that wants to start their own airline fleet and needs space for their planes and facility for managing cargo or Delta for maintaining a fleet of planes if they are expanding Austin service.  The key is that SOMEONE is interested in the land which is why it's out to the public.  The interested party could also be Fedex or UPS but I don't think the airport would move on this land unless it served the airport's development interest and having Delta take the land for plane maintenance would certainly fit that bill. 

That is a very interesting tidbit, thanks for sharing. Will the source of the bids be disclosed before picking the winning bid? What's the time frame on selecting a bid?

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Well, the 12,000' Bergstrom AFB runway seemed to have done ok  for 40+ years before the CoA took it over. So what happened with the 1998 built from scratch 9.000' runway - same contractor as the Waller Creek drain tunnel?

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16 minutes ago, dieucla98 said:

That is a very interesting tidbit, thanks for sharing. Will the source of the bids be disclosed before picking the winning bid? What's the time frame on selecting a bid?

I took another look at it and I was wrong in how I explained it. The city put out a Request for Information which is a precursor to the request for proposal. They are basically looking to see who is interested and finding out what they want to do with it. They aren't giving out bids yet.  Submissions are due April 12th and are public property so we should be able to access them. 

 

12 minutes ago, Armybrat said:

Well, the 12,000' Bergstrom AFB runway seemed to have done ok  for 40+ years before the CoA took it over. So what happened with the 1998 built from scratch 9.000' runway - same contractor as the Waller Creek drain tunnel?

I already said I didn't know the story or if it's true. Why don't you go figure out it instead of complaining about everyone all day on random message boards.

Edited by Pasken

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26 minutes ago, Pasken said:

I'm not sure what the timing is on the 3rd runway. High projections put our current runways at %60 capacity in 2037. I think an issue might be that they have to close the east runway for up to a year for repairs and I'm not sure what our capacity would be with just the west runway.

What are the assumptions that go into the "high" projections?  And what is the capacity based on?  Is that hourly capacity?

Runways have a fixed capacity--somewhere between 45 and 70 movements per hour, depending on the aircraft type and various other factors.  Obviously, you're going to come closer to your runways' capacity at 4:00 PM than you are 4:00 AM.  

Right now, AUS isn't a hub, so its traffic is what you would ordinarily expect in an O&D market--a high number of flights in the morning and late afternoon, and a relatively low number in the middle of the day.  But if the discussion of an DL hub (or focus city) comes to pass, that changes.  Hubs work by grouping flights at the same time.  The hub will come in all at roughly the same time so that passengers can connect, and then the flights all go out at roughly the same time.  It's not a particularly efficient use of runways, but it's more convenient for passengers.

Over the years, the legacy airlines have made efforts to "de-hub," with varying degrees of success.  But if we have hopes of operating a DL hub in the future, I think we need to assume that there's going to be a hub-type operation with a high volume of flights at least three or four times during the course of the day.

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15 minutes ago, Pasken said:

 

 

I already said I didn't know the story or if it's true. Why don't you go figure out it instead of complaining about everyone all day on random message boards.

Just wondering out loud about the CoA's consistent incompetence.

I don't complain about Round Rock. So there.

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12 minutes ago, Ghost of LL said:

What are the assumptions that go into the "high" projections?  And what is the capacity based on?  Is that hourly capacity?

Runways have a fixed capacity--somewhere between 45 and 70 movements per hour, depending on the aircraft type and various other factors.  Obviously, you're going to come closer to your runways' capacity at 4:00 PM than you are 4:00 AM.  

Right now, AUS isn't a hub, so its traffic is what you would ordinarily expect in an O&D market--a high number of flights in the morning and late afternoon, and a relatively low number in the middle of the day.  But if the discussion of an DL hub (or focus city) comes to pass, that changes.  Hubs work by grouping flights at the same time.  The hub will come in all at roughly the same time so that passengers can connect, and then the flights all go out at roughly the same time.  It's not a particularly efficient use of runways, but it's more convenient for passengers.

Over the years, the legacy airlines have made efforts to "de-hub," with varying degrees of success.  But if we have hopes of operating a DL hub in the future, I think we need to assume that there's going to be a hub-type operation with a high volume of flights at least three or four times during the course of the day.

I'm not sure what the assumptions were. Here are the details of the projections vs capacity:

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Edited by Pasken

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Just now, Ghost of LL said:

Oh--and so that we're clear, 2037 isn't that far in the future when it comes to building new runways.  Those things take forever.

This is very true especially if they want to build the Far East runway since it involves buying over 1,000 acres in land, homes, prisons etc. and moving highway 130 underground.

 

 

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On the traffic projections, I also understand that those are based upon a model not developed by ABIA and almost always underproject what our traffic load will be. Which would be that we'd need a runway earlier than the projected date. Can someone that knows a heck of a lot more about this than I do confirm?

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5 hours ago, skittlebrau said:

On the traffic projections, I also understand that those are based upon a model not developed by ABIA and almost always underproject what our traffic load will be. Which would be that we'd need a runway earlier than the projected date. Can someone that knows a heck of a lot more about this than I do confirm?

 

The last improvement program was done (I believe) in march 2008 and projected a base case of 12.384 million passengers for 2016 and the actual traffic in 2016 turned out to be 12.437 million which is pretty close. I don't know what the high case was.  I would think that they would be able to get a pretty accurate guess for growth but a lot of things can change over 20 years. I think the key is to start acquiring land which will take years so they are ready to start on the runway whenever the right time for that is. That assumes they pursue the very difficult and expensive East Runway instead of a much less useful (but cheap) west parallel runway. 

Edited by Pasken

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11 hours ago, Pasken said:

This is very true especially if they want to build the Far East runway since it involves buying over 1,000 acres in land, homes, prisons etc. and moving highway 130 underground.

 

 

Where did you read this?

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Another month, another record broken - busiest February on record and by a large amount (follows up the busiest January on record, also by a large margin). 2018 is shaping up to be a big uptick.

Of note, British Airways was up 15% Y/Y.  Delta up a whopping 26%.  They are quickly closing in on United for the #3 busiest airline at ABIA. Interesting given all the chatter around making AUS a focus city.

http://www.austintexas.gov/news/february-2018-passenger-cargo-traffic-austin-bergstrom

Feb_2018_-_5_year_trend_graph_700.jpg

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23 minutes ago, Chet Steadman said:

Is ABIA about to overtake Love as the 3rd busiest airport in Texas?

This is the latest data (that I can find) from the FAA on enplanements in 2016, which I think is what's used for rankings. They put Austin at fifth in Texas behind Hobby - though based on the stats below, we may well have overtaken them last year.

Obviously, we don't have 2017 yet, so I don't know what to tell you. 

https://www.faa.gov/airports/planning_capacity/passenger_allcargo_stats/passenger/media/cy16-commercial-service-enplanements.pdf

2016:

DFW             31,283,579 (4th busiest in the nation)

IAH               20,062,072 (14)

DAL                7,554,596 (31)

HOU               6,285,181 (34)

AUS                6,095,545 (35)

edit: What's amazing to me is looking at the list of major cities that are already behind Austin in these rankings, including New Orleans, Raleigh, Kansas City, San Jose, Indianapolis, San Antonio (not a surprise), Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, etc. 

 

 

Edited by bolverk

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41 minutes ago, bolverk said:

This is the latest data (that I can find) from the FAA on enplanements in 2016, which I think is what's used for rankings. They put Austin at fifth in Texas behind Hobby - though based on the stats below, we may well have overtaken them last year.

Obviously, we don't have 2017 yet, so I don't know what to tell you. 

https://www.faa.gov/airports/planning_capacity/passenger_allcargo_stats/passenger/media/cy16-commercial-service-enplanements.pdf

2016:

DFW             31,283,579 (4th busiest in the nation)

IAH               20,062,072 (14)

DAL                7,554,596 (31)

HOU               6,285,181 (34)

AUS                6,095,545 (35)

edit: What's amazing to me is looking at the list of major cities that are already behind Austin in these rankings, including New Orleans, Raleigh, Kansas City, San Jose, Indianapolis, San Antonio (not a surprise), Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, etc. 

 

 

Austin enplanements in 2017 was 6,973,115 so no chance we passed Love given state trends but did pass Hobby which had 6.7 million. We can take a run at Love in 2020 which will be the first full year of the expanded main terminal. The number of gates is going up by %36.

 

https://d14ik00wldmhq.cloudfront.net/media/filer_public/6f/28/6f28c41d-b124-482e-bc55-f672475a4d4c/cy17_report_final.pdf

https://www.austintexas.gov/news/december-2017-passenger-cargo-traffic-austin-bergstrom

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2 hours ago, dieucla98 said:

If that's the case, it's conceivable we pass DAL this year given how strong the year has started for AUS. 

DAL is limited by law to 20 gates.  Southwest currently has 18 of those gates, and they utilize the shit out of them.  The rest are used by United, Alaska, and Delta, and are somewhat under-utilized.  

So even assuming that those two gates are brought up to full utilization, and even assuming that Southwest starts flying more 738s out of DAL, you're only talking about marginal increases in capacity.  And since Southwest is generally flying 80% load factors out of DAL, it's hard to see how that could go much higher.

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re: Delta putting anything (crew base or hub) in Austin - I'm going to reach out to my friends at DL and see if they have heard anything. Would make sense but the airport needs to be a bit bigger. DL has always been a fan of the "oddball" hubs to compete with bigger ones (and O/D in Austin is no slouch) so this would fit their historical MO perfectly.

I have to wonder what Southwest's response would be to a DL hub/focus city here...

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2 hours ago, The Dog said:

re: Delta putting anything (crew base or hub) in Austin - I'm going to reach out to my friends at DL and see if they have heard anything. Would make sense but the airport needs to be a bit bigger. DL has always been a fan of the "oddball" hubs to compete with bigger ones (and O/D in Austin is no slouch) so this would fit their historical MO perfectly.

I have to wonder what Southwest's response would be to a DL hub/focus city here...

There’s a lot of smoke behind this one. I would be shocked if that expansion wasn’t a real thing.

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14 hours ago, The Dog said:

re: Delta putting anything (crew base or hub) in Austin - I'm going to reach out to my friends at DL and see if they have heard anything. Would make sense but the airport needs to be a bit bigger. DL has always been a fan of the "oddball" hubs to compete with bigger ones (and O/D in Austin is no slouch) so this would fit their historical MO perfectly.

I have to wonder what Southwest's response would be to a DL hub/focus city here...

Southwest has historically been a vicious competitor against anyone who tried to enter what they see as their home turf, see, e.g., their reaction to Virgin America's entry into DAL.  I would expect them to add frequencies on routes on which they compete and reduce fares.  I'd also expect some retaliatory moves, such as an increase in service to SLC or ATL.

An interesting thing about this is Delta's fleet--it has 717s and A319s that are relatively small, while not being regional lets.  That allows them to open routes with high frequency, while not completely flooding the market with capacity.  For example, they could put in 2x AUS-MAF with a 717, and that'd only be 220 seats/day.  I mean, that's a lot--nobody even flies the route (nonstop) now.  But there are passengers who are currently connecting, so there's demand.  And a 717 may be the right plane to serve it.

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On 4/5/2018 at 11:26 AM, Ghost of LL said:

Southwest has historically been a vicious competitor against anyone who tried to enter what they see as their home turf, see, e.g., their reaction to Virgin America's entry into DAL.  I would expect them to add frequencies on routes on which they compete and reduce fares.  I'd also expect some retaliatory moves, such as an increase in service to SLC or ATL.

An interesting thing about this is Delta's fleet--it has 717s and A319s that are relatively small, while not being regional lets.  That allows them to open routes with high frequency, while not completely flooding the market with capacity.  For example, they could put in 2x AUS-MAF with a 717, and that'd only be 220 seats/day.  I mean, that's a lot--nobody even flies the route (nonstop) now.  But there are passengers who are currently connecting, so there's demand.  And a 717 may be the right plane to serve it.

You know, I took a quick look at routes and it appears there's already a lot of competition on most destinations out of Austin (for Southwest and everyone else). Not sure that there would be very much overlap with Southwest other than a couple of markets. And I don't see Delta flying to places like Midland out of here unless it's with RJs to connect those people elsewhere. They could simply be increasing capacity on the hub flights and adding a few point to point flights where it made sense. Doubt we'll see something like they had at DFW. At any rate will be interesting to watch - I know AA is already connecting people through Austin and might be expanding themselves. 

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On 4/2/2018 at 9:26 PM, Chet Steadman said:

Likewise, I’ll never understand the constant desire to have rail to an airport.  Outside of perhaps a stadium or arena on gamedays, you’ll find a greater contingent of cabs, taxis, busses, etc. at the airport than any other place in the city.  I don’t think I’ve ever had to wait more than 3-4 minutes for a ride at a major US airport.

I have no idea if this is a big part of it, but if we want to have rail anywhere in the city we have to start it somewhere. Overall, it's a popular idea. But it keeps coming up in bond packages and gets crushed because everyone wants the line in their area. With a project that has to be funded and completed in stages, the only people who vote yes are the ones in the relative vicinity. The rest of the city votes no (even though they would've voted yes if it was in their hood). An airport line won't be the most beneficial, but it has the best chance of garnering enough votes to  pass, which hopefully then gets the ball rolling on growing out the entire system in subsequent bond packages.

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6 hours ago, SquishMitten said:

I have no idea if this is a big part of it, but if we want to have rail anywhere in the city we have to start it somewhere. Overall, it's a popular idea. But it keeps coming up in bond packages and gets crushed because everyone wants the line in their area. With a project that has to be funded and completed in stages, the only people who vote yes are the ones in the relative vicinity. The rest of the city votes no (even though they would've voted yes if it was in their hood). An airport line won't be the most beneficial, but it has the best chance of garnering enough votes to  pass, which hopefully then gets the ball rolling on growing out the entire system in subsequent bond packages.

 

It's extremely unlikely rail to the airport is in the 1st bond for Project Connect because it is at very the end of the 2nd or 3rd most important line. We'll be lucky to see the Riverside line come up if the plan is to do LRT because of how expensive Guad/Lamar will be.  There is also the problem that they don't know what the schedule will be for replacing the Riverside bridge on 35 which got scrapped along with the rest of the 35 plans. That overpass has to be rebuilt before LRT goes on riverside. If we see LRT on Riverside, expect it to terminate at Monopolies and that is a big if. 

 

Edited by Pasken

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Southwest Airlines adds nonstops from Austin to 3 new cities

This week marks the debut of the discount carrier’s service between Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and San Francisco; Sacramento, Calif.; and Indianapolis, Ind. The San Francisco and Sacramento flights are daily, while the Indianapolis flight operates only on Sunday.

Frontier begins new Austin service to the following 14 destinations in April:

  • Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Buffalo, N.Y.
  • Charleston, S.C.
  • Detroit
  • Indianapolis
  • Jacksonville, Fla
  • Milwaukee
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul 
  • Omaha, Neb.
  • Portland, Ore.
  • Providence
  • Reno, Nev.
  • Seattle
  • Tampa, Fla.

 

Construction Update

-Workers are busily installing the 162 panels that make up the sunshade canopies that will encircle the entire 9-gate expansion building. The panels, weighing 1,000 lbs. each will provide  shade for the patio and the entire terminal building expansion. Each sunshade panel is 8 feet long and 20 feet wide. Together the 162 panels will cover 28,000 square feet to provide enough shade for two football fields. Serving as a design feature mimicking a wing that floats around the building, the canopies are intended to provide an airplane and aerospace industry theme for passengers. The building's exterior is about 75 percent glass to allow for natural lighting and provide views of the runway, taxiways and apron operations. The functional purpose of the canopies is to reduce the amount of heat gained from sunlight entering the building through the windows and reduce the amount of energy required to cool the building. The canopies also reduce the glare of the sun within the building but still allow ample natural light. This feature, used in combination with the lighting control system, reduces the amount of energy used for lighting in the building. The canopy that overhangs the east side of the expansion will cover and provide shade for the 5,770 square foot outdoor patio. The patio will provide a view of the east runway for passengers. Metal panels which match the existing terminal are being installed. The placement of the last glass panel, estimated to be completed at the end of this month, will mark the completion of the building envelope to separate the interior and exterior parts of the building. The hoisting of the canopies is one of the last major projects for the final inground tower crane that remains at the site. At the end of the month, Hensel Phelps is anticipating the disassembling and removal of the tower crane when major lift jobs such as the canopies and remaining glass panels have been completed. Mobile cranes and machinery will then be used for the remainder of the project construction.

-Rough plumbing, electrical and HVAC work are underway along with preparation for the installation of the terrazzo flooring in the new terminal expansion.  

-Replacement of the automatic sliding-glass entrances and exits to the Barbara Jordan Terminal is currently in Phase III as five of the 13 terminal entries have been remodeled. Two vestibules are currently under construction and closed. These are located in upper-level ticketing, nearest to Checkpoint 3 and a lower-level vestibule near bag claim No. 1. The vestibules act as airlocks between the outside and inside environments, reducing drafts and reducing energy cost. The new vestibules are 10 feet larger than the orginal and allow for more room for luggage and people movement.

3F6A3083_top-photo_700px.jpg 3F6A3079_sunshade_panels_400px.jpg

3F6A3070_interior_9gate_400px.jpg

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Speaking of canopies, I don't know why airlines don't ask airports to put up big canopies like those that used to exist at the Pan Am terminal at JFK.  It would certainly help keep the plane cool while on the ground during the summer.

48222_1275687761.jpg

 

As an aside--damn, that was a great terminal.  It may have been the finest airport facility ever constructed.

Berlin Tempelhof had a similar feature, but the design was a bit more utilitarian.

7726523394_ecc719194b_b.jpg

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On 4/3/2018 at 12:14 PM, drt said:

Oh jesus christ.  Really?

Yeah, that probably won't cost much.

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23 hours ago, The Dog said:

I know AA is already connecting people through Austin and might be expanding themselves. 

Connecting how? DFW - AUS - LAX? Or connecting to the LHR flight on BA?

Hard to believe AA would funnel passengers through Austin when Austin only connects to AA primary hubs (DFW, PHX, LAX, CLT, ORD, MIA, NYC, PHL) and LHR. And all of those hubs have a non stop to LHR already.

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Connecting how? DFW - AUS - LAX? Or connecting to the LHR flight on BA?
Hard to believe AA would funnel passengers through Austin when Austin only connects to AA primary hubs (DFW, PHX, LAX, CLT, ORD, MIA, NYC, PHL) and LHR. And all of those hubs have a non stop to LHR already.

Flight I was on had PHX and LAX passengers connecting through Austin. Thought it was odd myself.

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On ‎4‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 10:45 AM, Ghost of LL said:

Incidentally, yesterday was the first day of service for the BA 747-400 at AUS.  Did anybody get any good shots?

We have that r/t London flight booked for July.

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Clear preference for runways are the easy to build ones next to existing runways. 

Desire to work on next 2 expansions simultaneously with near term smaller expansion opening in 2021 and long term bigger expansion opening in 2024.

 
EDIT: Not sure why images wont’t embed. Sorry. Will try again when I get home.

Edited by Pasken

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Christ. AUS doesn't need more runways. It needs TRACON controllers from Chicago or NY. The spacing that AUS approach gives is laughable. Put those controllers on the scopes and you double the hourly capacity of the airport.

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