Leading SA: Airport director talks expansion plans, record-breaking travel numbers

The airport hopes to break ground on expansion construction in early 2024

SAN ANTONIO – Expansion plans are currently underway at the San Antonio International Airport as the facility continues to see a spike in travelers this year.

Airport Director Jesus Saenz joined Leading SA on Sunday to explain what we can expect and more details on its expansions on the horizon.

“It will be a large economic impact to the city, being able to provide an expansion (and) being able to provide additional capacity as it relates to more gates to the overall airport complex. Right now, we’re scheduled to add up to 17 gates to the existing footprint... And we start to prepare ourselves to not only be but begin to act like a large hub airport across the country,” Saenz said.

Saenz went on to share one of the airport’s new focuses, making a concerted effort to introduce passengers to the culture of San Antonio.

“We have specific design standards that we have established for the new terminal development program that we’re embarking upon, and we’re really focusing on the importance of it having a San Antonio feel to it,” Saenz said.

When it comes to breaking ground, Saenz said there is ongoing planning, but the goal is for construction to start next year.

“We can really start to put shovels in the ground and begin to focus on, you know, construction over the next three years, you know, from 2024 to early 2028. You know, we want to be completed with this and present the showcase, the new airport to the entire world,” he said.

For current travelers, Saenz said they should not expect to feel much effects on their travels.

The airport plans to strategically maintain air traffic during the expansion process.

“This new complex that’s going to be connected to the existing terminal... So there may be a little discomfort in the Terminal B area, but overall, we fully anticipate because of where it’s at on the groundfield, we should have minimum impact. We have strategically positioned ourselves so we can fence off the entire area so that it has no impact to existing operations in terms of a term will be inclusive of the airfield,” Saenz said.

As for the current state of the airport, records continue to be broken.

“We had an incredible summer. We broke all kinds of records as it relates to the history of the overall airports. A million passengers traveled through the airport in July. We had a day in July that exceeded, you know, over 40,000 passengers in one day. And it’s not because of a specific event that was happening. It was just normal summer traffic that was going in and out of the airport,” Saenz said.

The airport director said they expect to see more record-breaking numbers in travelers over Labor Day weekend.

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