clear the runway
San Antonio airport receives contract clearance for new terminal work
Things are really about to take off at San Antonio International Airport (SAT). Not that it hasn't already been doing well — it has recently garnered heaps of praise from blogs and other publications for its short wait times, new nonstop international flights, and generally stress-free experience. In July, SAT recorded its busiest day ever, with 41,560 passengers passing through the airport in any direction.
Still, an overhaul is currently in the works, as initially approved in 2021. Most notably, that included a new, third terminal, which is where the newest efforts are being funneled.
At a City Council meeting on December 12, the airport saw "several contracts and agreements" approved within the the Terminal Development Program (TDP) and the Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR).
Of those contracts, the largest has a cap of $1 billion. The City Manager is now authorized to negotiate and execute work with global aviation terminal contractor Hensel Phelps Construction Co., which has done work at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), and George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), plus other major hubs outside of Texas like Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
“SAT’s new terminal is going to generate approximately 6,000 direct and indirect jobs,” said San Antonio Airport System's director of airports, Jesus Saenz, in a news release. “More than 85% of the CMR contract is expected to go to local contractors – which will have a major, beneficial impact on our community.”
The new terminal project will include a 17-gate concourse; The existing Terminals A and B have 15 and 10, respectively. It will also have a Federal Inspection Service area (for processing international travelers), expanded ground transportation and parking, and other less public-facing features for utility improvements.
Renderings shared in February showed an airy design full of natural wood, windows, and greenery. Also in the plans are a landscaped walkway between the curb and terminal, and more than 29,000 square feet of lounge space. Saenz estimated then that construction would begin around winter of 2024.