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  #41  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2008, 5:33 AM
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Airport garage opens ahead of schedule, under budget

Airport’s parking garage debuts ahead of schedule, under budget
Friday, August 8, 2008
San Antonio Business Journal - by Tamarind Phinisee

Quote:
San Antonio International Airport officials have completed construction of a new 3,000-space parking garage four months ahead of schedule and more than $5 million under budget.

The parking garage had originally been slated for completion in December of this year at a cost of $50.8 million.

However, Mark Webb, aviation director for the city of San Antonio, says through the efforts and cooperation of San Antonio-based based contractor Bartlett Cocke, Detroit-based contractor Walbridge and Kansas City, Mo.-based national transportation infrastructure firm HNTB, the project was completed last month at a final price tag of $45.4 million.

“The new long-term garage is the first of three major projects within the overall expansion program at the airport. To see the first project come in early and under budget gives us an incredible amount of energy as we head into the roadway work and the new terminal facility,” says Webb, who oversees the San Antonio International Airport’s personnel and operations. “It tells us that we’re on the right track and that as we move forward, anything is possible when everyone is working together and focused on the same goals.”

Randy Pawelek, president and CEO of Bartlett Cocke, agrees.

“We’re really excited about the project. Our joint venture with Walbridge out of Detroit and then just the good relationships with the designers, the engineers, the staff at the airport — all working in tandem — produced a good project,” Pawelek says.

Pawelek says when the project was originally put out for pricing, it became clear that it would go over budget. But his company was able to work with the other contractors and design team to redesign the garage, save time and control costs — despite record amounts of rainfall during the third quarter of last year.

The completion of the new parking garage almost doubles the available long-term parking at the airport, increasing it to 6,600 spaces.

Prior to this, the airport had 3,800 long-term parking spaces. Webb says the parking garage allows the airport to better serve its customers needs as well as return revenue back to other airport construction and maintenance projects.

More to come

The new garage is just one of three projects currently underway at the airport as part of its 10-year, $635 million capital improvement project.

Now that the garage has been completed, Webb says the airport will focus on completion of the new roadway and the new terminal — Terminal B.

Terminal B, which replace Terminal Two, will be approximately 223,000 square feet and cost an estimated $134.8 million to develop.

Construction on Terminal B began in June of this year and is expected to be completed in June 2010. Construction is also underway on an expansion of the airport’s two-tier roadway system that currently services only Terminal One. The expansion will extend the roadway to the new Terminal B as well to the future Terminal C — not yet under construction.

The roadway expansion is expected to be completed around February 2010. Costs are estimated at $41.3 million.

The money for the construction costs, says airport spokesman David Hebert, is coming from airport-generated funds.

“None of it involves taxpayer dollars or city of San Antonio funds,” Hebert stresses.

Aside from these projects, more upgrades are on the horizons, including the Terminal C project, which will encompass 176,000 square feet and feature five gates and the capability of expanding to 11 gates. The groundbreaking for Terminal C is planned for 2010 and is set to be completed in 2012. Construction on Terminal C could start earlier that scheduled, however, impacting the completion date.

Webb says travelers will notice daily changes and improvements at the airport as construction on the next two projects moves forward. He asks that travelers be patient with the airport as it continues with its expansion, which will eventually make flying more convenient for passengers.

“Much of what we’ve seen so far has been prep work. Now we’re getting to stage where people will be able to see for themselves exactly what’s being built here at the airport,” he says. “Columns, walls and ceilings are actually going to be taking shape, and the daily change is going to be very dramatic.”
It's not everyday you see projects finished ahead of schedule and under budget. Great news for San Antonio International Airport.
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  #42  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2008, 9:04 AM
TXlifeguard TXlifeguard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneStarMike View Post
Airport’s parking garage debuts ahead of schedule, under budget
Friday, August 8, 2008
San Antonio Business Journal - by Tamarind Phinisee



It's not everyday you see projects finished ahead of schedule and under budget. Great news for San Antonio International Airport.
I'll be glad to see visible progress made on the new terminal and roadway. The utilities relocation seemed to take two or three years and was hell. Kinda disheartening to have gone through all that thinking it was a significant part of the expansion only to realize this summer they hadn't even broke ground on the terminal expansion yet. But the quick work on the easy job of building the pre-cast garage is somewhat hopeful. Normally the rule of government funded construction its to take the expected construction time, double it and then add 120 days. So this is good news.
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"We marched five leagues over a fine country with broad plains, the most beautiful in all of New Spain. We camped on the banks of an arroyo. This I called San Antonio de Padua, because we reached it on the day of his festival." - General Domingo Teran de los Rios, June 13, 1691, in a letter to the King of Spain on the occasion of the founding of San Antonio.
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  #43  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2008, 2:25 AM
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Mexican low-cost airline interested in SAT

Just saw this regarding Interjet, a Mexican low-fare carrier. Near the bottom of the story it noted:

Quote:
International ambitions taking shape

Last month the airline filed an application seeking permission from US authorities to start services to California and Texas. Interjet wants to start daily flights as soon as permitted from Toluca to Ontario (California) and Houston. Continental already flies between Houston (IAH) and Toluca using 50-seat CRJs.

Once the first two routes have been approved Interjet wants to start daily service from Toluca to San Antonio (from November 2008) followed by double-daily services between Guadalajara and Houston (from June 2009) and between Monterrey and Houston (also from June 2009). The City of Houston and Greater Houston Partnership have already submitted their support for these routes.


above image from www.anna.aero

Toluca is near Mexico City.
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  #44  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2008, 1:40 PM
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FINALLY! I knew this was going to happen eventually with Austin getting Aerobus. This market needs this and sounds like it will finally get it!
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  #45  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2008, 2:37 PM
KeepSanAntonioLame KeepSanAntonioLame is offline
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Woohoo! Toluca!


So SAT international destinations now include

Mexico City
Monterrey
San Luis Potosi
Toluca
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  #46  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2008, 12:30 PM
TXlifeguard TXlifeguard is offline
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Originally Posted by KeepSanAntonioLame View Post
Woohoo! Toluca!


So SAT international destinations now include

Mexico City
Monterrey
San Luis Potosi
Toluca
Let's not go gettin all giddy and start makin' gate space for 'em just yet.

Article says they 'want to' start service.

And that's if the other route (Houston-Toluca) gets regulatory approval. Then they can pursue a SAT-Toluca route. I would imagine there's some paperwork involved in that route as well. Will they come here eventually? Hope so. But it's premature to say Toluca is a new international destination from SAT. Cause it's not.

Not meaning to go off on ya, but this is a pet peeve of mine (in addition to tools on the internets who like to make up cool-sounding knock-off names for urban neighborhoods/developments that exist only on paper). Follow this process; you skimmed the clip of the article and missed the detail where it said they wanted to come here after and if they get the fed's approval on their Houston route. You subsequently post that we now have a new international destination (which we don't). Others see your post and believe it is true. Two months from now I'm having dinner with friends and they start talking about how cheap the new service to Toluca is and that we should all take a trip. I chime in that said direct service does not exist. They disagree and claim it's a fact because their ex girlfriend's brother offices with a guy who's father-in-law read about it online so it has to be true. Then I'm the a$$hole of the night for starting an argument and bringing everybody down, when all I was trying to do was avoid a fruitless two-hour impromptu vacation planning discussion on a trip we won't take because the inexpensive airline doesn't even serve SA.

It's the same issue seen elsewhere here. Speculation enthusiasm somehow morphs into fact, causes confusion, then arguments ensue. It culminates with somebody making a post about the speculated project's viability in San Antonio anyway, then one of us gets all defensive of San Antonio and makes a derogatory post about that posters 'attacks' on San Antonio, and that poster responds by saying people who post in SA threads are too defensive and claims to speak for all of the other registered posters are allegedly in agreement that we're just not mature in SA threads. The whole ugliness ends with 8 pages of posts comparing census bureau data going back to 1983 on who's MSA is growing faster then some other MSA, with someone usually claiming the data is not correct cause it's off by 0.0031% and Junction/Utopia/Karnes City should/should not have been included. The entirety of it all could be avoided by people not posting speculation or hearsay as fact.
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"We marched five leagues over a fine country with broad plains, the most beautiful in all of New Spain. We camped on the banks of an arroyo. This I called San Antonio de Padua, because we reached it on the day of his festival." - General Domingo Teran de los Rios, June 13, 1691, in a letter to the King of Spain on the occasion of the founding of San Antonio.
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  #47  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2008, 2:29 AM
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Glad to see this project underway. To be honest my entire time living in SA I never flew to/from the old terminal, so i don't really know what it looked like on the inside. But it was obviously dated and had outlived its life in a post 9/11 airline industry where terminals need more room for security and there's a heavy empahsis on retail as an economic generator.

Can't wait to see the fiinished product.
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  #48  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2008, 3:32 AM
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I've used terminal 2 the past couple of times I've flown to/from SA, but I had previously never been in there, not that I could remember anyway. To be honest, its really not as horrible as I had heard, but on the other hand it isn't much better than "adequate". And for folks who are used to that being their first glimpse of SA, I really wouldn't be surprised if the new terminal changes a lot of their basic perceptions about SA all by itself.
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  #49  
Old Posted Aug 16, 2008, 1:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXlifeguard View Post
Let's not go gettin all giddy and start makin' gate space for 'em just yet.

Article says they 'want to' start service.

And that's if the other route (Houston-Toluca) gets regulatory approval. Then they can pursue a SAT-Toluca route. I would imagine there's some paperwork involved in that route as well. Will they come here eventually? Hope so. But it's premature to say Toluca is a new international destination from SAT. Cause it's not.
I do agree that Toluca is not yet a destination for San Antonio, but IMO I think it's a very real possibility and I think you may see it happening sooner rather than later.

The article I posted above is a little misleading (to me anyway) because it makes it sound like Interjet has only applied for two routes (Ontario-Toluca and Houston-Toluca) Having read the article, it left me with the impression that once those routes had been approved, then and only then would Interjet go back and apply for San Antonio-Toluca, Houston-Guadalajara and Houston-Monterey flights.

Having done a little more research, that is not the case.

Interjet has applied for all 5 routes (including San Antonio-Toluca) in their initial filing with the Department of Transportation. The filing was done on June 17.

link to DOT filing

Link to exhibits concerning the DOT filing

(After going to the above links, you can click on the icon to the left of "Views" to view the actual document.)

Fast forward to August 7, 2008. The DOT has given it's tentative approval for Interjet to start these routes.

Link

Quote:
ACCORDINGLY,

1. We grant the request of ABC Aerolineas, S.A. de C.V. d/b/a Interjet for an exemption under 49 U.S.C. §40109 to permit it to engage in scheduled foreign air transportation of persons, property, and mail between: 1) Toluca, Mexico, and Ontario, California; 2) Toluca, Mexico, and Houston, Texas; 3) Toluca, Mexico, and San Antonio, Texas; 4) Guadalajara, Mexico, and Houston, Texas; and 5) Monterrey, Mexico, and Houston, Texas;
The only thing I'm not clear on is when the final approval would take place. If you read the DOT's response it notes

7. Our action with respect to this foreign air carrier permit should, unless disapproved by the President of the United States under §41307 of Title 49 of the U.S. Code, become effective on the 61st day after its submission for §41307 review, or upon the date of receipt of advice from the President or his designee under Executive Order 12597 and implementing regulations that he or she does not intend to disapprove this portion of the Department’s decision under that section, whichever occurs earlier.

It notes that other parties have until August 28, 2008 to file comments and/or objections. If there are no objections received by August 28, I believe that is when DOT would submit the application for §41307 review and if approved, it would be effective 61 days after that date, which would be around the end of October.

Although Interjet and Viva Aerobus are both ultra-low cost carriers, Interjet's been around a little bit longer. They started operations in December 2005, while Viva Aerobus started operations in November of 2006.

From a customer service standpoint, Interjet appears to be head and shoulders above Viva Aerobus.

Just one example is the fleets used by each carrier.

Viva Aerobus currently has 9 737-300's that have an average age of 21.6 years

Viva Aerobus fleet information

After going to the above link, you see delivery dates from 2006 to 2008, but those are the dates the planes were delivered to Viva Aerobus. If you click on each of the 9 registration numbers you can see when the planes was actually manufactured. They were all built between 1985 and 1988 and most of them came to Viva Aerobus from US Airways.

Compare that to Interjet's fleet They have 13 Airbus A320 jets with an average age of 4.7 years. The oldest one was built in 1999. Six others were built in 2000. These 7 planes were previously owned by other airlines. Of the remaining six aircraft, four were built in 2007, and the last two were built in 2008.

Back in 2005, Interjet signed an agreement with Airbus with 10 firm orders and 10 more options. The first of the firm orders were to be delivered in the second quarter of 2007. These are the six newer aircraft built in 2007 and 2008 and four more remain to be delivered.

Although this promotional video is in Spanish, part of it shows the interiors of Interjet's planes. Looks pretty nice to me.

Another tidbit - Interjet mainly flies out of Toluca, which I believe is about 50 miles from Mexico City. But recently (as in the last two weeks) I've read articles that they now have the right to fly out of Mexico City. Here's one of them.

Interjet Buys Rights To Use Mexico City Airport - Chairman

Quote:
MEXICO CITY -(Dow Jones)- Mexican low-cost airline Interjet has purchased the rights of troubled carrier Aerocalifornia to operate from the Mexico City International Airport, Chairman Miguel Aleman said in a radio interview Thursday.

Federal regulators suspended Aerocalifornia last week after the company failed to meet a deadline to pay 259.6 million pesos ($25.9 million) in fees dating back to 2005.

In an interview with Mexico's Radio Formula, Aleman said Interjet is "making an important effort" - including ordering more planes - to offer service at the Mexico City airport, by far the country's busiest.

"Sometimes problems bring opportunities, so instead of hunkering down until the storm passes we want to stand up to face it," Aleman said, adding that Interjet plans to begin flying out of Mexico City in mid-August.

The airline, like most other low-cost carriers, currently serves Mexico City via the nearby Toluca airport, which charges lower fees. Aleman said Interjet will continue with its operations in Toluca.

Aleman didn't say how much Interjet paid Aerocalifornia for access to Mexico City.
It will be interesting to see how all this works out - even more so considering that Southwest has said in recent articles that they are looking for a Mexican codeshare partner.
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  #50  
Old Posted Aug 16, 2008, 3:03 PM
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We need a direct flight to Guadalajara, I was there two weeks ago and there were plenty of people connecting to GDL in Monterrey, hopefully InterJet will apply for a flight route.
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  #51  
Old Posted Aug 16, 2008, 3:35 PM
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Hopefully the city will be smart enough to focus on adding flights to Mexico, since the domestic market is. . . well, you know.
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  #52  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2008, 10:21 AM
TXlifeguard TXlifeguard is offline
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Originally Posted by LoneStarMike View Post
I do agree that Toluca is not yet a destination for San Antonio, but IMO I think it's a very real possibility and I think you may see it happening sooner rather than later.
Agreed, and your research is impressive. But it doesn't change the fact that SAT does not have Toluca as an international destination, as you said they did in your post I referenced.

Have they filed the app with the feds? Yep.
Have they received initial approval from the feds for the Toluca-SAT route? Yep.
Has the federal approval process concluded yet? No.
Has the city of San Antonio or department of aviation made any type of announcement regarding the route or airline yet? No. (and there is a reason for that - having to do with counting eggs before they hatch).
Does Interjet have a single employee on the ground here in SAT? No.

I haven't looked at the data to see what percentage in a given period of initial route approvals that translate into actual serviced routes, so I cant counter with a over/under likelyhood on this. But there is a HUGE difference between, in your second post "a very real possibility" and the actual addition of Toluca as new international destination as you claimed in your first post; that difference at this point is still speculation- regardless of how sexy the interiors of their newer planes are, age of fleet, etc.

At the end of the day, tentative route approvals and boisterous press releases all count for $hit until they have signed gate lease agreements with SAT, staff assigned here, and have planes on the tarmac here.

I wouldn't trust the $16 in my nephew's piggy bank to any airline right now, foriegn or domestic. There's not a damn one of them in fantastic shape (not even southwest- which has about 22 months left on it's current fuel hedge contracts and then will be paying the same price the rest of the airlines are for fuel. If fuel prices stay high past that point, they'll be in the same damn boat as the rest of the industry and no amount of folksy home-spun charm or alleged unique management style will save them, and their CEO has even said that they will start losing money this fall - for the first time since 1991.) These new international startups arent any different- they arent immune to fuel prices. They are able to expand now because it's all investor and venture capitalist funds paying the bills. New money dosen't mean $hit in business- cause it's always borrowed money and says nothing about sustainability. But I'm on a tangent here...

Back to the lecture at hand....
It's still speculation, no matter how it's dressed up or how cool we think it would be. Cause wishing something doesnt make it so. If it did, the second Vidorra tower would have started already. At this point, that $hit just be speculation too.
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"We marched five leagues over a fine country with broad plains, the most beautiful in all of New Spain. We camped on the banks of an arroyo. This I called San Antonio de Padua, because we reached it on the day of his festival." - General Domingo Teran de los Rios, June 13, 1691, in a letter to the King of Spain on the occasion of the founding of San Antonio.
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  #53  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2008, 1:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXlifeguard View Post
Agreed, and your research is impressive. But it doesn't change the fact that SAT does not have Toluca as an international destination, as you said they did in your post I referenced.

[...]

But there is a HUGE difference between, in your second post "a very real possibility" and the actual addition of Toluca as new international destination as you claimed in your first post
I never said SAT had Toluca as an international destination. I believe you are confusing me - LoneStarMike - with KeepSanAntonioLame

Quote:
Originally Posted by KeepSanAntonioLame View Post
Woohoo! Toluca!


So SAT international destinations now include

Mexico City
Monterrey
San Luis Potosi
Toluca

I just added more info that cleared up some mis-perceptions in the original article I posted, as well as some additional info about the airline itself.
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  #54  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2008, 8:53 AM
TXlifeguard TXlifeguard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneStarMike View Post
I never said SAT had Toluca as an international destination. I believe you are confusing me - LoneStarMike - with KeepSanAntonioLame




I just added more info that cleared up some mis-perceptions in the original article I posted, as well as some additional info about the airline itself.
Holy $hit! I did make that mistake. Didn't even slow down to notice. My apologies!

I come from a belief system that says there should be a breathalyzer/ignition interruption device on three things; cell phones to prevent regrettable booty calls; ATM machines to stop me from blowing my budget when I'm out for a nite on the town with my boys havin beers somewhere or at the *cough* gentleman's club; and computers to prevent unfortunate IM chats and -now- posts on here.

My bad...
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"We marched five leagues over a fine country with broad plains, the most beautiful in all of New Spain. We camped on the banks of an arroyo. This I called San Antonio de Padua, because we reached it on the day of his festival." - General Domingo Teran de los Rios, June 13, 1691, in a letter to the King of Spain on the occasion of the founding of San Antonio.
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  #55  
Old Posted Aug 27, 2008, 1:37 AM
KeepSanAntonioLame KeepSanAntonioLame is offline
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  #56  
Old Posted Aug 27, 2008, 2:17 AM
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Sounds like SAT is staying strong in the face of being dissed by AT&T. Kinda like getting dumped by a girl, then spending every day in the gym for three months until you get really big arms and chiseled abs and then bust back onto the market better than ever.

Yeah, its kinda like that.
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  #57  
Old Posted Aug 27, 2008, 5:32 AM
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Is that article any kind of surprise to me? No. Ive been saying this for a while now that Jetblue would be out of its mind to ignore the San Antonio market as a viable destination. Not at all surprised about Interjet either....its just a big ol' DUH in my book.

Ive said my peace.
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  #58  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2008, 7:31 PM
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Construction at airport goes on at robust pace

Guillermo X. Garcia - Express-News

Despite the troubled economy and rapidly escalating costs, construction continues on schedule on the decade-long, $636 million San Antonio International Airport expansion project.

The City Council, without comment, approved paying nearly $7 million to a number of vendors on Thursday as it bid farewell to Aviation Director Mark Webb, who has overseen the massive construction project.

In 2005, when planning began, the price tag was $425 million, although plans have been refined and more projects added.

Escalating fuel, material and labor costs also contributed to the rising cost, airport officials said.

In June, ground was broken on an eight-gate Terminal B, which will replace an aging Terminal 2.

Its cost has risen from $100 million to $138 million, according to airport officials.

Construction began around the same time on an elevated roadway to handle the increased vehicular traffic into the airport generated by the new terminals. Its cost rose from $38 million to $41 million.

Both of those projects are scheduled to be finished in 2010.

By 2015, when the dust has finally settled and all construction is completed, the city will have transformed what was once a sleepy regional airport into a sleek, three-terminal facility, said Webb, whose 14-year career with the city ended Thursday.

The project is funded entirely through airport revenue rather than local tax dollars.

One of the items approved Thursday was a $5 million payment with 3D/International for construction documents and design work on the planned Terminal C, which Webb said could be built starting next spring or summer “if market conditions allow.”

The cost of that terminal has risen from $91 million to $110 million, airport officials said.

The additional terminal would add five to 11 more passenger gates, as needed. The additional gates would bring the total to 35.

Currently, there are 39 nonstop markets served out of San Antonio.

As more nonstop flights have been added and San Antonio has grown, the number of passengers using the facility has increased.

The airport topped 8 million passengers in 2007, the third record in a row, and while airport traffic nationally has fallen, traffic here between January and July is running nearly 6 percent higher than the same period in 2007, according to airport spokesman David Hebert.

In July alone, airport passenger traffic increased 11 percent over July 2007.

“We have a high level of optimism that the trend of record growth we have experienced in 2005-06-07 will continue,” Hebert said.

The council also approved a $1.2 million payment for design of furniture, fixtures and equipment at Terminals B and C; design of a baggage screening system for Terminals 1 and B and apron paving or regrading for Terminals B and C. Also completed this summer was the last of 2,800 spaces in a five-level parking garage, bringing total airport parking to 9,000 spots.

Appointed director in 2006 after a stint as interim head, Webb begins his new job Friday as vice president of facilities and project management at University Health System, where he will oversee a $900 million capital improvements program.
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  #59  
Old Posted Oct 16, 2008, 4:16 PM
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San Antonio fastest growing non hub Airport in the country through 2016

Just happened to come across this story....it was for the NO airport, but saw that it mentioned SATIA! This is good news considering SA is adding two new terminals! lol


NO airport third fastest-growing in nation | Print | E-mail
Only two other large non-hub airports, San Antonio, Texas, and Lexington, Ky., will grow faster than New Orleans' Louis Armstrong through 2016, according to a study by lead aviation consulting firm Boyd International. By Leslie Turk
Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is the third fastest growing airport in the United States. Only two other large non-hub airports, San Antonio, Texas, and Lexington, Ky., will grow faster through 2016, according to a study by lead aviation consulting firm Boyd International.

The number of passenger boardings at the airport (located in Kenner) is expected to climb 9.5 percent from 2008 to 2014. While airlines across the country are cutting back on air capacity to save money in a tight economy, the local airport -- still recovering the service it lost following Hurricane Katrina -- hasn't been as impacted by those cuts.

In the report, Boyd analyzed 147 airports with a focus on population, economic factors, airline service trends and extraordinary local factors.


I tried to find the actual study, but couldn't seem to find it on the Boyd Group website.
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  #60  
Old Posted Oct 16, 2008, 10:55 PM
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Thats awesome! Especially since our new terminal will be done!
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