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Airport expansion takes off

Major new addition to ABIA terminal underway

Exterior of an airport (rendering) at sunrise
Rendering of planned terminal expansion

Austin and Texas culture take center stage in a dramatic new terminal and apron expansion currently under construction at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The expansion will add nearly 175,000 square feet and nine new gates to the terminal, increasing the gate total to 34 and international flight gates from two to six.

Designed by Gensler, with Hensel Phelps as the main contractor, the expansion maintains the modernist bent of the original terminal (also designed by Gensler), but takes its influences from older regional sources, including the dance hall in Greune, Texas, and Austin’s famous moonlight towers. The dance-hall influence can be seen on the planned concourse, which is meant to have an open, relaxing feel and will feature shops and a food hall. At the end of the concourse will be a two-story, moontower-influenced structure that will feature Parkside restaurant on the ground floor, open to all passengers, and Delta’s Sky Club lounge on the mezzanine level.

Construction site with oculus
A moontower-inspired structure takes shape
Courtesy of City of Austin Aviation Department

Austin’s outdoor culture also inspired the East Terrace—a “front porch” element that will have bench seating, landscaping, and views of the runway. As a whole, the design elements are meant to establish a sense of place as well as improve the passenger experience with clear wayfinding features, bright and open areas, a variety of seating-area types, attractive concession spaces, and centralized all-inclusive restrooms. The project will also incorporate local art, make smart use of light and vistas, and upgrade infrastructure to meet or exceed ADA regulations. It is also designed to meet LEED Silver certification for overall energy and environmental sustainability.

Rendering of airport concourse
The open, airy shape of the main concourse was partly inspired by a Texas dance hall
Rendering of terminal from POV of runway with gates parked outside
Paved aircraft area around the terminal will be expanded by 48 acres
Floor plans for the two-story terminal addition

The $350 million project will accommodate a 36 percent increase in passengers and will expand the paved aircraft area around the terminal by 48 acres for use by larger and more aircraft, as well increasing capability for overnight aircraft parking. It is expected to be completed by Spring 2019—which happens to be the 20th anniversary of ABIA.