Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is a Class C international airport located in Austin, Texas – the capital of Texas, and serving the Greater Austin metropolitan area, the 34th-largest metropolitan area in the United States. Located about 5 miles (8 km) southeast of Downtown Austin, it covers 4,242 acres (1,717 ha) and has two runways and three helipads. The airport is named after John August Earl Bergstrom, an officer who served for the 19th Bombardment Group. The airport began passenger service on May 23, 1999. A total of 9,080,875 passengers traveled through the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in 2011, making the airport the 38th busiest airport for total passengers in the United States.
Barbara Jordan Terminal was designed by the Austin firm of Page Southerland Page with associate architect Gensler under contract to the New Airport Project Team, with lead architect University Of Texas At Austin Architecture professor Larry Speck. The terminal is 660,000 square feet (61,000 m2) with a total of 25 gates. Inside the terminal, many local restaurants have leased concession space so that visitors can get a "taste of Austin" as they come through. The terminal also has a live music stage on which local bands perform in keeping with the spirit of Austin's proclamation as "The Live Music Capital of the World." The terminal is connected to a 3000 space parking garage used for public parking as well as rental car pick-up and return.
A new dedicated facility known as the South Terminal Austin was approved by the Austin City Council in order to accommodate the arrival of Mexican-based, low-cost airline, VivaAerobus, which launched operations on May 1, 2008. That terminal was closed on June 1, 2009, after VivaAerobus terminated service to Austin. Both American Airlines and United Airlines operate lounges at this airport for members of their executive lounge programs. Members of Alaska Airlines's executive lounge program also have access to American's facilities.
Runway 17R/35L, to the west of the terminal, is the original runway built and used by the Air Force. The 12,248-foot-long (3,733 m) runway was reconditioned when Austin-Bergstrom was built. The 23-inch-deep (580 mm) concrete runway is dedicated to former President Lyndon B. Johnson. Runway 17L/35R is a new 9,000 foot (2,700 m) runway on the east side of the terminal and parallel with runway 17R/35L. This runway is dedicated to former Congressman J. J. "Jake" Pickle. This runway contains a Category IIIB instrument landing system, the first in Austin. The runways are watched over by a new 20-story air traffic control tower. The tower formerly used by the Air Force has been demolished.