Jun 16, 2022 - News

City council to consider takeover of south terminal

Passengers board a flight at the south terminal. Photo courtesy of Dan Herron/Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Austin City Council members will decide Thursday whether to use eminent domain proceedings to take over the airport's south terminal.

Why it matters: The move is part of an expansion plan at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, which set a new passenger record for the second month in a row in April.

  • City officials want to add a new concourse by 2028 with at least 10 new gates and the ability to expand to 40.

The rub: The south terminal would be demolished under the plan — no longer housing budget-friendly airlines like Allegiant and Frontier.

State of play: LoneStar Airport Holdings, which leases and operates the south terminal property, has rejected a $1.9 million offer from the city to take it over.

  • Jeff Pearse, CEO of LoneStar Airport Holdings, penned an open letter to the Austin City Council on Wednesday, saying the current expansion program throws "the South Terminal and its budget-conscious travelers to the wayside."
  • Pearse called for a new proposal that would maintain the south terminal while still making way for the Barbara Jordan Terminal expansion.

The other side: Jacqueline Yaft, the airport's executive director, has said the south terminal needs to be demolished for a new taxiway by July 2023 to keep up with the high demand.

What's next: If the council votes to move forward with eminent domain, the city will file a condemnation lawsuit.

  • The meeting begins at 10am. Watch here.

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