A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE AUSTIN AIRPORT
Depending on how long you’ve been in Austin, you’ve probably heard that what is now the Mueller development used to be the site of Austin’s airport. Travelers flew into the Robert Mueller Municipal Airport from 1936 to 1999, when the airport moved to its current location (a former Air Force base) in southeast Austin and became known as the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS). Since 1999, AUS has continued to experience passenger growth well above the national average, and since 2019 to now, AUS has been the fastest growing large/medium hub airport in the United States.
Along the way, K Friese + Associates (KFA) has been involved in various roles on the planning and design of numerous projects at AUS, including the 2040 Master Plan, Taxiway A Extension, the addition of 3 new gates to the existing Barbara Jordan Terminal, the new Consolidated Maintenance Facility, preliminary engineering for the Blue Line light rail on airport property, multiple pavement rehabilitation projects, and the reclaimed water pipeline extension to AUS.
KFA’s experience at AUS has covered airfield, roadway, parking, water/wastewater/ reclaimed water improvements, drainage and water quality improvements, and site development projects.
TODAY AT AUS
With the tremendous growth at AUS, the airport has embarked on their Airport Expansion and Development Program (AEDP), a multi-billion dollar program to add a new gate concourse with a tunnel connecting to it, greatly expanding the existing terminal, relocation and expansion of roadways to the terminal, and a multitude of associated projects on the airfield and on the land side of the airport to enable this program. In 2021, KFA was selected to be part of the Principal Architect/Engineer team that is providing preliminary planning and engineering and architectural services to define the AEDP and prepare the various packages that will dictate the final design and construction of the various elements of the program.
KFA’s Aviation Practice Leader, Dale Murphy, serves as Deputy Project Manager over civil work for the program, with KFA leading preliminary engineering services for the drainage, water quality, water/wastewater/reclaimed water, and roadway elements, and is also assisting with various airfield elements. KFA is excited to play a key role in this transformational program at AUS.
In addition, KFA is in the final design phase for the new dual Midfield Taxiways project providing roadway and utility designs for this project, and will also be serving in various roles on the Program Manager team that is overseeing the delivery of the AEDP and serving as staff extension to the airport.
CONNECTING FLIGHTS TO NEW DESTINATIONS
In 2023, KFA was acquired by Lochner, a leading provider of planning, environmental, design, construction engineering and inspection, and right-of-way services for transportation, rail, transit, and aviation clients across the United States. Lochner brings extensive experience at general aviation and commercial service airports including the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). Joining forces with the Lochner family of companies is an exciting development for KFA’s growing aviation practice, as we look to expand our geographic footprint to new commercial service airports across the country.
Learn more about Lochner’s national aviation practice: https://www.hwlochner.com/news