SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio International Airport is in the middle of some big changes, which airport officials said could have equally big benefits for the Alamo City.
"Our region is growing and extremely prosperous, and our airport needs to be a part of that," airport aviation director Rus Handy said.
The airport is making changes and adding flights due to customer demands.
"We will have to travel to Austin to get better times, quicker times, and we don't like that because San Antonio is a bigger city and we don't like to be second to Austin," said Edmundo Garcia, who flies once a month for medical meetings.
The airport is adding 20 flights through the summer of 2018. Some flights are to completely new markets, and now officials say it's time to concentrate on the customer experience.
"The rental car facilities are not conveniently located to the airport, particularly the rental car return facilities are difficult to find," said Kathy Fowler, who flies weekly for work.
A new rental center that's expected to be up and running by 2018 is a short walk over a bridge from the terminals, allowing passengers an easier drive and helping them avoid traffic.
"The brand new consolidated rental car facility, which is about to open, (and) the brand new public parking garage under that, that will bring with it a dramatic improvement to the traffic flow," Handy said.
The new rental center is expected to be complete by the time the NCAA Final comes to town in March 2018.
There are several projects underway to increase ramp space. The hope is that the projects are complete by the Final Four, which will be a really important time for San Antonio travel.
Handy said the airport is expecting a huge influx of passengers for the Final Four, adding that the airport is prepared.
"We are part of a deliberate planning process (in) that we have been working with the NCAA and other cities that have hosted the Final Four to make sure we are planned and ready for that," Handy said.