Home Business Passengers, business groups push for more direct flights as San Antonio International Airport looks to expand

Passengers, business groups push for more direct flights as San Antonio International Airport looks to expand

by Stella Morgan

San Antonio International Airport Strives for More Direct Flights with New Terminal Construction

Traveling can be a hassle, and for residents of San Antonio, it often means having to endure long layovers or connecting flights. However, the city’s airport is aiming to change that with the construction of a new terminal, which is expected to bring more direct flights to the region.

Roger and Rosemary Thompson, frequent flyers from San Antonio, can attest to the inconvenience of not having enough direct flights. “We can’t always get the direct flights,” Roger lamented. “It winds up being half a day travel or an ordeal, sometimes almost an entire day.”

The Thompsons’ struggle is not unique; many residents in San Antonio face the same issue. Currently, the airport offers around 40 direct flights, with a nonstop route to Philadelphia set to be added next summer. However, this number pales in comparison to the direct flight options available in larger airports.

To address this problem, the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and other business groups are optimistic that the new terminal construction will attract more travelers and, consequently, more direct flights to the city. Dave Peterson, the interim president and CEO of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, expressed his hope, stating, “I’m very hopeful.”

Danny Zimmermann, executive principal and CFO at Cleary Zimmermann Engineers, echoed Peterson’s sentiment, emphasizing the economic benefits of increased direct flight options. “I think access is power,” Zimmermann said. “Having more direct flight options just increases that economic activity.”

The San Antonio City Council recently passed its $3.7 billion spending plan for the 2024 Fiscal Year, which includes funding for capital projects to improve the airport system. The airport system, consisting of both San Antonio International Airport and Stinson Municipal Airport, requested nearly $292 million for these improvements.

Jesus Saenz, the director of airports at SAT, is dedicated to expanding the airport’s flight offerings. “It’s an ever-evolving effort,” Saenz explained. “The number of people that want to use this airport, this entire region is expanding. We should be preparing ourselves.”

To accommodate the growing demand, a third terminal is in the works for San Antonio International Airport. With 17 additional gates, the new terminal will be located next to the existing Terminal B on the northwest end of the airport’s current footprint. The scheduled takeoff for this terminal is set for 2028.

The new terminal construction offers a promising outlook for San Antonio residents like the Thompsons, who hope for more convenient and direct travel options. With increased funding and infrastructure, the city’s airport aims to meet the growing demand for air travel and provide residents with a smoother journey.

Overall, the development of the new terminal signifies a positive step forward for San Antonio’s airport system, which seeks to enhance the region’s connectivity and bolster economic activity. As the city continues to grow and attract more visitors and businesses, the new terminal will play a crucial role in meeting the increasing demand for convenient and direct flights.

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