by Morgan Montalvo
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