Residents get opportunity to weigh in on plans for airport expansion

SAN ANTONIO – It’s still too early to tell exactly how the San Antonio International Airport will change to accommodate growing demand, but a plan is in the works.

The plan is still in its early stages, but a preliminary study shows San Antonio doesn’t need a new airport.

The study does show the need for a larger airport over the next few decades.

“We exceeded 9 million passengers in the San Antonio International Airport last year. If the trends continue, we’re on track to (hit) 10 million this year,” said Russ Handy, aviation director for the city of San Antonio.

Handy said the study shows that expansion can happen at the airport’s current location, which sits on 2,600 acres, has two terminals and 24 gates serving 11 airlines.

“To meet the needs of the community, we need to grow the airport system. We have forecasted that growth,” Handy said.

Resident Donald Nichols went to the open house Monday with a strong stance.

“The international airport has become so crowded over the years. We’re desperately in need of more terminal space,” Nichols said.

Handy said it’s too early to tell how many more gates and terminals could be added to the airport.

“We’ve got another round of planning we’ll engage on after the first of the year,” Handy said.

Nichols said he’s excited about the idea of expansion, and he fears not doing so may hurt the Alamo City.

“Travel would suffer because people would go to Austin-Bergstrom (Airport) or other airports in the area, and San Antonio, economically, would lose out,” he said.

The results of the current study will be presented to the City Council on Oct. 31, so they can review it and make recommendations.

A full study is expected by 2020.

Community input meetings this week:

  • El Progreso Hall, Tuesday from 5-7:30 p.m.
  • Stinson Municipal Airport, Wednesday from 5-7:30 p.m.
  • Jewish Community Center, Thursday from 5-7:30 p.m.

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