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Austin-Bergstrom International Airport breaks ground on West Gate Expansion project

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AUSTIN (KXAN) – The Austin-Bergstrom International Airport broke ground on the West Gate Expansion project Wednesday.

The project is led by Journey With AUS, which will increase terminal space beyond current gates 33 and 34, adding 84,500 gross square feet over three levels of space, according to a news release from AUS.

Central Texas and Austin leaders gathered at the airport Wednesday for the groundbreaking. 

“This is just the start of a series of transformative airport projects that will modernize the AUS experience for everyone,” Mayor Kirk Watson said. “The Journey With AUS will bring unique changes to the traveler experience as we navigate turning this 24/7 facility into an active constructive site.” 

The expansion will add amenities for all travelers to enjoy such as new food and retail spaces, art through the City of Austin Arts in Public Places Program, more seating areas, the largest restrooms in the terminal, quiet places and private rooms for nursing or pumping and relaxing, and a new third-level outdoor public patio with a view of the city skyline, the release said.

“Following the post-pandemic surge in air travel demand, we must modernize and improve our airport,” said Robert Goode, Interim Assistant City Manager. “I applaud the teams at the Department of Aviation for their fast-acting responsiveness in bringing this project from conception to breaking ground in and look forward to providing our airport guests with more space, more amenities and an improved experience.” 

With construction and changes on the way, AUS is environmentally conscious, aiming for a 3-Star sustainability certification from the Austin Energy Green Building (AEGB). This project is funded through traditional airport development funding sources, such as airport cash reserves, current and future airport revenues and future revenue bond proceeds, not through tax dollars, according to AUS. 

The groundbreaking work began this summer and the expansion is estimated to open in 2026, the release said. Construction walls between gates 33 and 34 will be present, and although under construction, all gates on the west side will remain operational. 

“This project will deliver much-needed relief for our travelers and our airport,” said Somer Shindler, AUS Chief Development Officer. “This is just the beginning of our journey to invest billions of dollars into our airport over the next decade to serve the needs of travelers and airline partners today and in generations to come, all while driving economic prosperity for our community.”

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