By Ben Mutzabaugh, USA Today
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport’s new South Terminal officially opened for business Thursday, welcoming its first flight at around 12:45 p.m. local time with the arrival of Allegiant Flight 492 from Albuquerque.
The 30,000 square-foot South Terminal adds three extra gates to the fast-growing Austin airport, which has seen passenger numbers amid explosive growth in the Texas capital.
The South Terminal will be home to budget airline Allegiant, which flies to 10 non-stop destinations from Austin. Other carriers could begin flying from the terminal later this summer.
The South Terminal has a strikingly different feel than the airport’s main Barbara Jordan Terminal. The building housing the new South Terminal dates back to the old Bergstrom Air Force Base, which eventually gave way to today’s passenger airport. It has been updated for its new life as a commercial passenger terminal.
Travelers at the retro-themed building will board their flights not via jet-bridges, but rather by going outside and climbing stairs to their planes. Fliers will be able to sit indoors or out while waiting for their flights. There’ll also be a pet relief area and an outdoor food-truck retail area, which the airport says is “the first post-security outdoor concession area of its kind for a major Texas airport.”