Aviation Department Wraps Up S.A. Airport 'Strategic Plan' Workshops

by Morgan Montalvo

WOAI News

Local  aviation officials this week have been offering area residents glimpses  into the future of the San Antonio International Airport, WOAI News  reports. 

The  series of open houses ended with Thursday evening’s presentations at  the Barshop Jewish Community Center on San Antonio’s north side. 

During  each of the events, Aviation Department representatives have solicited  public input as planners explore options that include expansion or  relocation of the facility. City Aviation Director Russ Handy says the airport study is in its early phase. 

“It’s  an aggregate analysis of what our demand is going to be in the future  and what kind of requirements we have for infrastructure, airfields,  terminals, roadways and ultimately answer the question, ‘Will that fit  at the current site, or do we need to examine a new airport site  somewhere else in town?” Handy tells News radio 1200 WOAI. 

Proposals  under consideration include northward expansion beyond Nakoma Road in  order to add additional east-west runways, and the deactivation of a  secondary north-south runway parallel to Wetmore Road in order to build  larger terminals. 

Because  the Federal Aviation Administration only makes projections 20 years  into the future, Handy says his staff has taken on the task of envision  what the airport’s needs would be well into the latter half of the  century. 

“We  don’t want to make an investment ten years from now that in ten more  years is overcome by events, so we wanted to challenge the team to look  an aggressive growth scenario all the way out to fifty years, Handy  says. 

San Antonio’s airport, Handy says, could be handling up to 35 million passengers by 2068. 

He says it’s too early to tell whether construction of a new airport will be the better option. 

City Council gets an update on the airport’s Strategic Development Plan sometime during the next two weeks.

PHOTO:  Photo  cutline: Jewish Community Center on the north side drew a packed  house as residents heard from officials and planners about the long-term  future of the San Antonio International Airport. Thursday's  presentation was the last of four community forums held this week across  the city. 

Photo by Morgan Montalvo 

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