Austin airport gets $39 million to build concourse, expand terminal

February 23, 2024

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) will use $39.1 million from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to build a concourse and add terminal space to increase the airport’s capacity for screening passengers.

The funding comes from the FY 2024 Airport Infrastructure Grants (AIG) program, a federal initiative that will help modernize airport infrastructure, improve runway safety and create jobs.

The FAA dollars will support projects that are part of AUS Journey, a multi-year expansion and remodeling program. The initiative will address capacity needs as the airport hits historic levels of passenger and airline activity. Airport officials are consulting with airlines to determine the number of gates for design and construction based on carrier needs.

AUS will use $14.2 million to design the airport’s Concourse B, which will feature a minimum of 10 gates, with potential for expansion up to 20. Currently in the pre-design phase, the midfield concourse will include passenger and tenant spaces. These spaces include concessions, passenger boarding bridges, baggage handling system expansion and spaces for apron support. With a total budget between $1.1 billion and $2 billion, Concourse B will link to the existing Barbara Jordan Terminal with a connecting tunnel that will cost between $200 million and $375 million.

“Not only did we experience more passengers travelling through AUS in 2023 compared to any other year prior, we are now poised to help ensure much-needed funding for critical projects that will elevate our airport into a world-class hub with top-tier infrastructure,” Austin Mayor Kirk Watson said in a city release announcing the federal funds.

AUS will allocate the remaining $25.2 million to infill the Barbara Jordan Terminal, expanding the existing terminal’s capacity to screen passengers. The ticketing-level atrium infill project calls for adding approximately 13,000 square feet of concourse-level floor plate. Plans call for installing signage and wayfinding, upgrading special systems, improving fire and life safety systems and upgrading mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. The project will cost between $80 million and $120 million.

Other near-term airport projects underway include improving international arrival amenities. Currently in the design phase, the project calls for adding baggage carousels, queuing space and processing booths to speed up the arrivals process.

Long-term projects in the design phase include developing a $102 million to $192 million Central Utility Plant to meet the cooling and heating needs of expansion projects. The airport will also use $6.3 million to build two parallel midfield taxiways to connect the east and west ends of the airport. Other long-term projects include a 6,500- to 7,500-square foot, multi-level parking garage and an arrivals and departure hall. Neither project has a finalized budget.

The FAA will award $2.89 billion for airports nationwide for the FY 2024 AIG program. The FAA has already awarded $309.9 million for the first two FY 2024 AIG funding rounds. The latest round was announced Jan. 30, allocating $243.7 million across 150 grants to 37 states.

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Photo courtesy of the city of Austin

Paul Stinson

Paul Stinson has more than 15 years of journalism experience, including a decade covering the legislative and regulatory affairs of Texas, South Africa, and Germany for an affiliate of Bloomberg, L.P. His experience includes covering voting rights and the sectors of environment, energy, labor, healthcare, and taxes. Stinson joined the team in October as a reporter for SPI’s news publications, which include Government Contracting Pipeline, Texas Government Insider, and the newly-launched Government Market News. He is also a Fulbright Scholar to Germany, and an Arthur F. Burns Fellow. He holds a master’s in journalism from Indiana University.   

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