The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced Tuesday that San Antonio will get $2.5 million in funding for airport improvements.
The funds are part of the recent $850 million the FAA awarded to 200 U.S. airports through its airport improvement program.
The announcement comes within a month of the San Antonio airport being awarded $10 million in FAA grant funding, which will be used to make space for a new Terminal C to be built.
Designed to help airports with building and improving facilities, making repairs to runways and purchasing equipment, the airport improvement program is open to airports annually with grant awards based on passenger volume.
Funds for the program come through the Airport and Airway Trust which is funded by excise taxes on passenger tickets and taxes on aviation fuel purchases.
San Antonio International Airport officials said Tuesday they will use the latest grant funds for an environmental assessment of its upcoming airfield expansion plan.
That plan calls for shifting, lengthening and decoupling two commercial runways, and is part of the $1 billion in improvements outlined in the 2040 Airport Strategic Development Plan approved last year.
“This is a major development in our master plan and it’s good news for the future of San Antonio and meeting the needs of our travelers,” stated Jesus Saenz, director of airports for the San Antonio Airport System. “This is the first step in reaching our goal to increase our ability to offer more international flights.”
Air travel bounced back in recent months after historic lows that started with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Signaling continued recovery in the industry, the San Antonio airport is preparing for an increase in air travel over the coming Labor Day holiday weekend.
The Transportation Security Administration has estimated that more than 30,000 passengers will travel through the local airport on Thursday and Friday, an increase from 27,000 during the same time last year.
“We’re thrilled to see more travelers in the airport,” Saenz stated. “Many of those passengers haven’t flown in years because of the pandemic and they are ready for a vacation.”