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Austin City Council to vote on sending ABIA 40-year master plan to FAA for approval

To keep up with the growing demand, ABIA has drafted a 20-year master plan that includes 2 million square feet of additional space, 32 new gates, more than 11,000 parking spaces and an outdoor plaza with a concession area for passengers as they wait to catch the next flight. (Rendering courtesy: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport)

Nearly 14 million people traveled through the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport last year, and airport officials expect that number to more than double by 2040.

Curtis Reyland has been catching flights through the airport since it first opened and has definitely noticed the growth. "I've gotta get here a lot earlier," he said. "The parking and the shuttles, it's very difficult to get to this airport now."

The airport is on track to open nine additional gates in Spring 2019, but the expansion will only help accommodate 15 million passengers annually.

"In 2040, it is estimated that we are going to serve over 32 million passengers," said Derick Hackett, spokesperson at ABIA.

To keep up with the growing demand, ABIA has drafted a 20-year master plan that includes 2 million square feet of additional space, 32 new gates, more than 11,000 parking spaces and an outdoor plaza with a concession area for passengers as they wait to catch the next flight.

"We just want to keep a design and style and all the features and services we're planning for to match the Austin style and Austin flare that matches the community," Hackett said.

But before the plan can go through, it will need to be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. Thursday, Austin City council is expected to vote on sending that plan for review.

The total cost over the next 10 years is estimated at around $4 billion with ABIA footing the bill with revenue and grants.

"Right now, Austin is a destination place, and so this a place passengers want to go, and so we see non-stop service increasing a lot in the future at the airport," Hackett said.

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