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'Our whole way of life is going to change’: Residents speak out over plans for airport expansion

San Antonio International Airport presented future expansion plans that would potentially impact nearby residents

SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio International Airport hopes to keep up with the growing number of passengers.

Airport officials said 10 million passengers traveled through the airport in 2019, which is why changes are expected.

“We are a big transportation facility, so we need to keep us as the passenger growth increases,” said Tom Bartlett, acting Aviation Director.

The San Antonio Airport System started a Strategic Development Plan in 2018. That study showed the airport would be able to meet growth needs on it’s current 2600 acres.

Public meetings have been held since 2018 to gather input from locals. On Thursday, a 20-year plan was presented to residents who live near the airport.

The plan would include more runways, parking and terminals which could mean more growth outside of the airport’s current space.

Plans are still in the early stages and changes aren’t expected for some time.

“This is more of an opportunity for us to hear and listen and answer,” said Bartlett.

However, some expressed their frustration over what those changes would like.

“You’ve got four different concept ideas that you’re entertaining that are going into my neighborhood,” said one woman during the meeting.

Janna Aguilar said she was left confused when the meeting finished.

“I kind of wanted to clarify, what is their intention and what’s going to happen to our neighborhood,” she said.

Aguilar lives near the airport and is worried over future growth in the area.

“We’re going to be right at the end of a new runway so they’d be flying right over our house," said Aguilar.

She said she is left with more questions than answers.

“Traffic is going to change. Our whole way of life in that area is going to change,” she said.

Airport officials are using the meetings to guide them on their plans which they hope to present later this year.