Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, a reliable indicator of how the Central Texas economy is doing, last year continued its long hot streak. The sustained boom has led to the addition of two parking garages (the second should be done in 2019) and a nine-gate expansion of the terminal, also set to be done next year.
Here are five things to know about the airport’s performance.
1. Double-digit growth: Total passenger traffic increased 11.7 percent in 2017, from 12.44 million arrivals and departures to 13.89 million.
2. Remember when? Passenger traffic in 1999, the year Robert Mueller Municipal Airport closed and Austin-Bergstrom opened in May, was 6.67 million, about 48 percent of what the airport saw in 2017.
3. They came hungry: Airport passengers last year ate 684,199 breakfast tacos and 61.5 tons of brisket, washing down at least some of that with 18,300 bottles of Shiner Bock.
4. Busiest airline, by far: Southwest Airlines, which had an 8 percent increase at Austin-Bergstrom last year, was the busiest of 17 airlines using the airport, with 5.17 million passengers. American Airlines, with 2.63 million passengers here, was second. The smallest carrier? Texas Sky, which had 604 passengers into and out of Austin-Bergstrom last year.
5. More destinations added: The airport now has nonstop flights to 71 destinations (which sometimes includes two or more airports in the same metro area), with flights to 14 new destinations instituted or announced last year. Among the new nonstop flight spots: Raleigh-Durham, N.C., on Delta; Steamboat Springs, Colo., on ViaAir; and Indianapolis on Allegiant.