May 13, 2022 - News

Austin security wait remains among the quickest in the U.S.

Data: Bounce; Note: Security check data is as of March 10, 2022, and includes all departing passengers. Passport control data takes an average from March 8, 2021, to March 7, 2022, and includes all arriving international passengers; Chart: Simran Parwani/Axios

Turns out, apart from the occasional crush of SXSW, Austin-Bergstrom runs pretty smoothly.

The big picture: Airport officials found themselves unprepared for recent surges of flyers, but TSA lines spilling onto sidewalks are far from the norm, Jacqueline Yaft, the airport's executive director, told members of the city's Airport Advisory Commission this week.

  • "Right now, the latest reports are that we're maintaining the (maximum) 30-minute wait time, which is really good," Yaft said.
  • Additional TSA officers — sent after multiple events in March led to long waits, fuel shortages and more — are expected to stick around through the summer, and Yaft said the extra help has eased wait times.

Why it matters: The airport is a very visible measuring stick of what Austin gets right — and where it still has growing pains — as the once-sleepy city becomes a major American metropolis.

By the numbers: ABIA has among the shortest average TSA wait times — a little more than 23 minutes — compared to the country's other international airports, per data by Bounce.

Yes, but: The airport is still experiencing an increase in passengers, up nearly 148% in March compared to March 2021.

Next month is expected to be even busier as warm weather returns and additional flights are scheduled out of the city.

Of note: To meet the demand, crews this summer will begin work on three new gates on the west side of the airport's main terminal.


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