San Antonio International Airport's banner year continues, with a record 900,000 people getting on and off of airplanes at SAT in October, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
This is the 28th straight month that SAT has broken the previous record for passenger traffic, and it well on its way to a record year, serving at or above 10 million passengers for he first time ever.
“This continued air service expansion is evidence of the growing prosperity of San Antonio and our surrounding communities,” said Russ Handy, Aviation Director for the City of San Antonio. “The community is growing and our airport system must expand with it. These numbers further affirm the need for our ongoing airport system development initiatives.”
This is a major turnaround for San Antonio International, which two years ago was a laughing stock, with as many as one quarter of San Antonio air travelers choosing to drive to Austin Bergstrom to board flights.
Local tech entrepreneur and 2020 Trump Campaign Manager Brad Parscale blamed a lack of direct flights for relocating a part of his company to Florida, and County Judge Nelson Wolff in 2016 floated the idea of building a new airport, a plan that has since been scratched by an Airport Commission.
Back in 2007, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson cited the shortcomings of SAT in his decision to move the corporate headquarters from San Antonio to Dallas.
Handy, a retired Air Force Lt. Gen. has added 34 new flights since 2016, and improved the amenities available to passengers at the airport, from shorter wait times at security desks to more food and beverage options. The addition of the Consolidated Rent a Car facility allowing passengers to rent cars without having to board annoying vans and drive a mile or more off Airport property is also a major advantage.
Local airline travel has also benefitted from a banner year in San Antonio travel. The strong local economy has boosted business travel, and a boom in leisure travelers has been helped by major events like the city's Tricentennial celebration and the Men's Final Four.
The opening of the expanded Convention Center has also helped to attract bigger conventions, like this past summer's national convention of the NAACP. San Antonio was urged, but declined, to bid for the 2020 Republican National Convention.
IMAGE: SAN ANTONIO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT