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Published on Friday, October 25, 2019

Flying Continues to get Easier at SAT with Community Engagement, Strategic Development Plans, Record Passenger Growth and More


San Antonio (October 25, 2019) – After a summer period of peak travel, there are no signs of slowing down during the fall season at San Antonio International Airport. Phase II of the Strategic Development Plan is well underway, highlighted by a series of community engagements scheduled to share future airport plans and collect community feedback. September’s passenger stats saw a return to record breaking numbers, and the opening of a new art exhibit and digital flight information boards in the cell phone waiting lot continue to make flying easier at SAT.



Community Engagements Centerpiece of Phase II of SAT’s Strategic Development Plan



Did you know that more than 10 million passengers — an average of 25,000 per day — fly in and out of the San Antonio International Airport each year? In the next 20 years, that number could increase to 18 million passengers per year.



This is why the San Antonio Airport System (SAAS) continues to develop its strategic plan to stay ahead of the growing travel demands of the community and region and to serve as a driving force in generating prosperity for the region. In 2018, Phase I of the Strategic Development Plan determined that the airport could be designed to accommodate projected future passenger growth at its current location. Phase II, which started this year, will determine what facilities the airport will need – such as gates and other airfield improvements – as well as where they would be located and how they will be funded. Community engagement and feedback is a major part of this planning process.



SAAS is hosting a series of informal engagements throughout San Antonio to provide information and receive input from the community to help inform the development of the airport’s master plan for the next 20 years.



The first of ten pop-up meetings was held at the beginning of October in the Quarry Farmer’s Market and produced a record number of survey responses. Since the first community engagement, SAT has received feedback from more than 25,000 San Antonio community members! Additional pop-up meetings are also scheduled in each Council district to engage various demographic groups, from senior citizen groups to Friday Night Lights football fans. SAAS has also created “Coffee Klatches” to engage the community in a series of relaxed monthly meetings in neighborhoods near the airport.



Upcoming community engagements include Lincoln Park on the 26th, Palo Alto College on the 29th, Mission Marque Plaza on the November 2nd, Alicia Trevino Lopez Senior Center on November 5th, and the People’s Night Market on November 7th.



For more information on the Strategic Development Plan, the community engagement pop-ups, or the survey – please visit www.sanantonio.gov/SATfuture



September’s Passenger Stats Return to Record Breaking Numbers



According to the latest industry report, the final statistics for September reflect more growth at San Antonio International Airport (SAT). A total of 818,420 passengers flew through the airport during the month, a record for the month and a 4.7% increase over the same period last year. The statistics show that year-to-date totals were also up 4.7% or nearly 350,000 more passengers.



Domestically, air traffic increased by 4.1% representing a total of 786,011 passengers compared to the same month last year. Internationally, passenger traffic grew significantly at a rate of 24% in September with a total of 23,621 monthly travelers. Collectively, air cargo experienced a slight overall dip with 21,683,871 pounds moving through SAT, however international cargo was up by 42%.



The airport’s Air Service Team remains focused on surpassing last year’s record-setting passenger numbers. Even with industry-wide setbacks, such as the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, SAT is on track to potentially surpassing its yearly passenger total for the tenth consecutive growth year. “The record setting numbers for the month of September come as welcome news, especially with the challenges associated with the grounding of the 737 MAX”, said Russ Handy, Aviation Director for the City of San Antonio. “We continue to achieve passenger growth despite many challenges, and I am looking forward to closing the year strong in an attempt to surpass last year’s record number of passengers.”



The Galleries @ SAT and San Antonio Women’s Chamber of Commerce Partnership



The San Antonio Women’s Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Galleries @SAT – an arm of the Arts & Culture program within the Customer Experience Division – to present the “Women Heroes of World War II” exhibit. The exhibit, on loan from the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) National Museum in Sweetwater, celebrates the 75th anniversary of D-Day and chronicles a time when women helped to ferry airplanes across the Atlantic Ocean, transport equipment and personnel, and flew a number of combat support missions when male pilots were not available. An initial group of twenty-eight (28) women who were experienced civilian pilots volunteered to fill non-critical pilot roles, ultimately forming the country’s first female squadron in 1942.



The traveling WASP exhibit will be on display at each of the TSA entrances in Terminals A and B through the end of the calendar year. The exhibit is open to the public. For more information on the exhibit, the immeasurable contribution of the WASP Women Pilots, visit https://waspmuseum.org.



Flying Gets Easier at SAT with new Cell Phone Waiting Lot Flight Information Board



It just got easier to pick up friends or family from the airport with the installation of new digital flight information boards in the airport’s Cell Phone Lot. The flight information board is updated in real time on the status of arriving flights into SAT.



The information board will show the airline, flight number, and point of origin of inbound flights as well as the terminal and gate location of the aircraft, it’s estimated time of arrival, or if the flight has already landed. The Cell Phone Lot is conveniently located behind the recently opened Burger King and Quick-Mart Gas Station and convenience store, providing those that are picking up passengers at the airport the ease of getting gas for their vehicle, something to eat or drink, or other convenience items while also tracking the real-time arrivals of their passengers.



“This is just the most recent addition to the many services and amenities that we offer our passengers to make the experience of flying easier at SAT,” said Karen W. Ellis, Customer Experience Chief. “Picking up someone at the airport should not be a hassle, and this information board will keep everyone informed of real time flight arrival information while they wait in their vehicles.”



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Author: Brandon Barnes (GPA)

Categories: City News, Aviation

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