Click here to view this article on the Statesman – April 8, 2017
The public got a preview of the newly finished Austin-Bergstrom International Airport South Terminal on Saturday afternoon.
The new terminal, located near U.S. 183 and Burleson Road, was a Bergstrom Air Force Base building before the city of Austin and LoneStar Airport Holdings renovated it in a $12 million project. The South Terminal has a separate entrance from the Barbara Jordan Terminal; shuttles will carry travelers from one to the other.
Saturday’s event included crafts, games and a raffle to win travel vouchers on Allegiant Airlines. The new terminal opens Thursday.
“The Barbara Jordan Terminal is really full, and it’s hard for airlines to get gates,” said Jeff Pearse, CEO of LoneStar. “By the South Terminal bringing new gates, other carriers that have a hard time servicing Austin can now come here.”
The building has a stylish retro design with a few wall murals and splashes of blue and orange. There are eight check-in counters, two self-service machines, a baggage claim area, a security checkpoint and three gate areas and ground-level boarding. White canopies outside of the terminal will protect travelers from the sun and rain.
The outdoor patio will be accessible after check-in, a place where travelers can relax on shaded couches or in chairs. Pearse said there is an area for pets, and there will be rotating food trucks on the patio.
“It’s all about the Austin experience,” Pearse said. “One day it could be Mexican food, the next day it could be Thai food. There will also be a grab-and-go area inside the terminal to grab a beer or wine while waiting.”
The 30,000-square-foot South Terminal was designed by the carriers. Allegiant Airlines is the only airline using the terminal for now, but Via Air will offer service from Austin to Missouri starting in June, and Sun Country will begin service in the late summer. Pearse said he expects there to be up to 36 arrivals and departures from the terminal per day, once the carriers are all operating, and the new terminal has room to grow beyond that.