Austin bergstrom International Airport (AUS)
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, also known as ABIA (FAA LID, IATA: AUS, ICAO: KAUS), is a Class C international airspace in Austin, Texas, United States. It covers 1,717 hectares of land with an elevation of 542 feet or 165 meters Above Mean Sea Level.
This city-owned airport is located 8km southeast of Downtown Austin and serves the Austin Metropolitan Area.
Austin-Bergstrom Airport is known to be the second fastest-growing, medium-sized airstrip in the United States which is a great factor in boosting the economy in Central Texas, supplying over 74,000 jobs in the region.
In 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration recorded 13,570,711 passengers with 203,389 aircraft operations.
The Bergstrom Air Force Base, as it was formerly known, has two runways and three helipads. The site was named after Captain John August Earl Bergstrom, an officer who served with the 19th Bombardment Group.
Austin-Bergstrom Airport replaced Robert Mueller Municipal Airport as Austin’s main landing strip. It was then dubbed the third-busiest airport in Texas after Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
The airport has two terminals: the Barbara Jordan Terminal, the main terminal, and the South Terminal, the second terminal for low-cost carriers.
The Barbara Jordan terminal has a total of 34 gates and 6 of which are handling international flights. Fifteen airline companies are utilizing this main terminal; Aeromexico, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Delta Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Lufthansa, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, United Airlines, Vacation Express, and WestJet.
It also houses several restaurants and food hubs, two located inside the post-security area. It also has a live music performance stage where local bands showcase their talents to maintain the city’s title as “The Live Music Capital of the World”.
The second terminal is the South Terminal, utilized by ultra-low-cost carriers like Allegiant Air and Frontier Airlines. The terminal entrance is on the south side of the airport perimeter from Burleson Road.
There is no access from the main terminal to the South Terminal. However, shuttles around the area offer transport services from the main terminal and vice versa.
The South Terminal emanates a retro vibe having three passenger gates but without air tunnels. Passengers in this terminal must walk under a covered path to board the aircraft by stairs.
History of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
In 1942, Austin City bought land and donated it to the Federal Government of the United States for military purposes. This acquired land became Bergstrom Air Force Base.
In September 1942, 3,000 acres of land, Del Valle Airfield, was leased from the City of Austin.
In 1943, Del Valle Airfield was renamed Bergstrom Army Airfield in honor of the late Captain John August Earl Bergstrom, a reservist officer in the 19th Bombardment Group and the first Austinite killed in World War II at Clark Field in the Philippines during the onset of war.
In September 1947, the airfield had its name changed back to Bergstrom Air Force Base until it was decommissioned in the early 1990s after more than 50 years of service to the United States Air Force.
In 1971, the city began considering options for establishing a new airport. The Federal Aviation Administration proposed that Austin and San Antonio should build a joint regional airport. FAA’s proposal was rejected as only a few Austinites expressed their support for this idea.
In 1976, Austin submitted a proposal to the United States Air Force for joint use of Bergstrom Air Force Base. Still, the idea was rejected by USAF in 1978 because it could disrupt military operations.
In the 1980s, nearby cities, mainly around Mueller, pressured the city council to choose a site for a new airport.
In November 1987, voters approved a referred site near Manor City, Texas. The city acquired the land but eventually faced lawsuits from Sierra Club and other concerned groups due to the project’s potential environmental impact.
The plans to build a new airport at the Manor location were not pursued and were abandoned in 1991 when the Base Realignment and Closure Commission ordered Bergstrom Air Force Base to close.
The closure of the Air Force Base gave a “go signal” to Austin to convert the land and runways for public use. The USAF also agreed not to demolish the structures and existing facilities.
Austin’s City Council discarded the original plan of building a new airport near Manor. Instead, they chose the Bergstrom site.
The city hired Mr. John Almond, a Civil Engineer who had recently led airport projects, to be the Project Director for the new multi-million airport in Austin. He was also assigned to form a team of engineers and contractors to accomplish the task.
In 1993, the issuance of a $400 million bond for the airport project was put to a public vote managed by local public affairs consultant Don Martin and former Mayor Bruce Todd. The bond was approved by obtaining a 63% public vote.
In November 1994, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new airport.
On October 23, 1995, the US Air Force old control tower was demolished, and construction began on building Austin’s $10 million primary structure, which will be the center of air traffic controllers.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, riding in an Air Force One, was the first passenger to land at the new airport after the building completion of the new air traffic control tower.
In 1999, the Robert Mueller Municipal Airport had to end its aircraft operation. As it faces its closure, Austin’s new airport took its IATA code of AUS. Austin-Bergstrom Airport opened to the public on May 23, 1999.
The new Austin-Bergstrom International Airport has a 12,250 feet runway, among the nation’s longest commercial landing strips.
The Barbara Jordan passenger terminal was initially planned to have 18 gates with an extensive land measure of more than 500,000 square feet.
During the construction of the main terminal, some changes were made. The airport was expanded to have 24 gates with jet tunnels from Gate 2 to Gate 25 and Gate 1 without a jet tunnel.
The opening of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport was just in time to cater to numerous flights from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan Area brought by various airline carriers. Due to the facility’s fresh opening as a civilian airport, there were 42 non-stop flights on weekdays.
As the population and economy of Austin have grown over the years, airline companies have been introducing more non-stop flights to the airport, which led to additional projects and expansions.
The terminal’s first expansion plan was completed in 2015. Additional huge facilities on the arrivals level, especially the customs and immigration area, are now capable of processing more than 600 passengers per hour. Two domestic baggage claim belts and an enlarged pre-security area on the ticketing level were also added to the facility.
In 2019, nine gates were added to the east portion of the terminal, increasing the total number of gates from 25 to 34.
The airport administration also adapts on-trend ideas to cope with society’s innovations in terms of technological advancements.
The facility offers up to 4 hours of free Wi-Fi through “Boingo.” To connect, passengers should turn ON their Wi-Fi connection and select “Boingo Hotspot.” Then, select “Complimentary Wi-Fi” under the Boingo Hotspot options.
Transfer Services at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport provides various transportation services for passengers.
There are Car Rentals, Buses, Taxis, Rideshares, Limousines, and Shuttles at the ground transportation area of the Barbara Jordan Terminal and Austin’s South Terminal.
The nearest Train Station to the airport is the MetroRail Downtown Station, located 7 miles from the airport.
Travelers are advised to check what items are allowed in their hand-carry baggage and what to bring in their check-in luggage. Also, passengers should secure all their belongings before and after aircraft disembarkation.
Rental Car Services at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Car Rental counters are available at the ground level of the arrival area. They are all located near the baggage claim conveyors.
Take the escalator to the first level of the terminal. Look for your chosen car rental company. Then, you will be given a contract after complying with all the requirements, such as a driver’s license and a passport. After completing the forms, head to the rental car parking area.
Retake the escalator to the third level and exit through the bridge walkway. Outside, you can find all the cars available for rent. See and compare all rental car companies at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
You may also book a vehicle in advance by downloading the car rental company’s application on your smartphone.
Rental fees may vary depending on the vehicle and your chosen rental company.
Ride Shares at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Rideshare is one of the transportation options in Austin, Texas. They can only pick up and drop off passengers at the designated ground transportation center.
There are three famous metro ride-sharing services: Uber, Lyft, and Wingz.
Booking rideshare means passengers should consider the right side of the vehicle for their luggage.
Passengers are advised to book rideshare in advance by downloading the company’s application on their smartphone.
Taxis at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
There are several taxi services at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
They can pick up and drop off passengers at the ground transportation center of each terminal.
Downtown Austin is a 7 mile or 15-minute drive from the airport. See more information about taxis at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
The estimated taxi fare from Austin-Bergstrom Airport to the downtown area ranges from $35.00 to $50.00.
Taxi fares may vary depending on the traffic condition in the metro.
Buses at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
MetroBuses are available at the ground transportation area of the airport.
Passengers traveling to and from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport can take the bus via high-frequency route 20. More information about buses to and from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
Riding the MetroBus from the airport may take 35 minutes to reach the downtown area.
Bus fare starts at $1.25 for a single ride and $2.50 for a day pass.
Trains at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Train transport is not available inside the premises of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
The nearest train station is the MetroRail Downtown Station which is 7 miles from the airport.
Train fare starts at $3.50 for a single ride and $7.00 for a day pass. More information about train services near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
Hotel Shuttle Services at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Shuttle services are available in the ground transportation center of Barbara Jordan Terminal and the South Terminal.
Inbound passengers who have hotel bookings may contact their hotel accommodation for their shuttle service or shuttle reservations.
There are also non-hotel shuttles available for transport services.
Shuttle rates may vary depending upon the negotiation between the passenger and the service provider.
Parking at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport provides convenient parking lots for travelers.
There are various parking options for passengers in Barbara Jordan Terminal, such as the Red Garage, Blue Garage, Economy, and Short-Term parking.
The parking rate at the main terminal starts at $5.00 per hour.
Meanwhile, Austin’s South Terminal also has its parking lot. The terminal provides travelers with three parking options: The Economy Lot, Close-In Lot, and the Premium Lot.
South Terminal’s parking fee starts at $10.00 per day. See more information about short and long term parking at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
Austin, Texas, being one of the largest and highly urbanized cities in the United States, offers several options for quality and top-rated hotel accommodations. Most of the prime and prestige hotels are found in the downtown area of the metro.
Austin offers attractions and recreations in the metro, from natural scenery to libraries, museums, and parks. See a selection of tourist attractions in and around downtown Austin in Texas.
Visitor Information - Austin bergstrom International Airport
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