This marked the eighth consecutive year of record passenger traffic for Austin’s airport.
AUSTIN, Texas – Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) continued to experience robust passenger traffic in 2017 with a record 13.8 million travelers, up more than 11.5 percent over 2016. This marked the eighth consecutive year of record passenger traffic for Austin’s airport. All those travelers contributed to big tastes of Austin being enjoyed at the airport.
In 2017, air passengers’ Austin experience included:
61.5 tons of brisket
684,199 breakfast tacos
1,500 live music performances in 2017, making for a total of 11,500 live performances and counting, since opening in 1999
No.1 bottled beer sold – Shiner Bock at 18,300 bottles sold of this Central Texas original
111,557 T-shirts sold in 2017 with Keep Austin Weird and ACL shirts the most popular
Austin flair with art – Showcased the creative energy and cultural diversity of Austin with over 80 artists works exhibited in 2017. Individual artists also benefitted from the program with $4,000 artworks purchased by travelers directly from artists.
The growing local economy in Austin relies on quality air service to foster business, government, and leisure travel. Highlighting the increased passenger traffic was expanded air service from 60 to 70 nonstop destinations. This included 10 carriers initiating or announcing 29 new routes. In that were new international routes from Vacation Express to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, Norwegian to LGW London year-round, SAS to Stockholm, Sweden, and Delta Air Lines to Amsterdam.
Domestic nonstop grew as well with: tech city connection Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina on Delta; Sacramento, California and Kansas City, Missouri on Southwest; Ontario, California and Columbus, Ohio (John Glenn Columbus International) on Frontier; Steamboat Springs, Colorado on new carrier ViaAir; Indianapolis, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio (Rickenbacker International) on Allegiant; new carrier Sun Country’s weekly service to Minneapolis/St. Paul.
In keeping up with passenger growth and to prepare for future growth, the airport is Tuning Up with terminal, airfield and parking services expansions. Construction of the nine gate terminal expansion is in progress, anticipated for completion in 2019. The airfield’s jet movement and parking area is increasing by 36 acres. Additionally, construction began in 2017 on a new, six story parking garage with 6,000 spaces, anticipated for opening in 2018.
Environmentally, Austin’s airport terminal diverted over 26 percent of discarded or unused items from going to the landfill. Rather, items are recycled, composted, or repurposed. To divert waste from landfills, the below were initiated in 2017:
Food Rescue Program, launched in March 2017, collected 11,000 lbs. of fresh food to deliver to needy individuals and families via Keep Austin Fed. This kept unsold, packaged food from being wasted.
Pour It Out – Empty bottles are ideal for the recycling process. However, the liquids in them are considered contamination and ruins recyclable materials. ‘Pour It Out’ receptacles provide a place for passengers to dump liquids from a bottle or container before placing it in a neighboring recycling bin. Launched April 2017, an average of 18 gallons of liquids per day is collected by just one receptacle. That’s the equivalent of 144, 16 ounce sized bottles. Three more receptacles are on the way for placement before TSA checkpoints.
Compost program with airport restaurants - Initiated March 2017, over 20 tons of organic material has been collected from restaurant kitchens for composting, diverting it from the landfill.