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Fix Coming For ABIA's Parking Problems

Updated: Wednesday, June 25 2014, 06:35 PM CDT

Hitch a ride, if you'll be flying out of Austin anytime soon. Parking is a problem.

That's because Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) is the 34th busiest airport in the country. It's also the second fastest growing. 

Patti and Dale Measels never fly out of Austin. 

"We usually fly out of San Antonio," said Patti. 

But, on Wednesday they took a chance, only to drive up and see signs saying the garage and close lots were all full. 

"Big inconvenience," said Dale. 

Consumer Reporter Bettie Cross asked, "Do you face this when you fly out of San Antonio?" 

"No. Never," said Dale.

Vacation and business travelers are being redirected to ABIA's overflow lot where they'll need an airport shuttle to get to the terminal. 

"We peak in July, our busiest month. June is right behind it," said Jim Smith, an ABIA executive. "The whole purpose of overflowing is to capture the peak." 

Think of it as a summer summit. But, Smith says every season is inching upward. 

"We had a little over 10 million passengers last year which is a record for us," said Smith. 

Relief is under construction. 800 new spaces are going in on the ground floor of the new CONRAC garage. It will also be ABIA's new consolidated rental car facility. 

In addition, when CONRAC opens in the summer of 2015 rental car companies will move out of the top floor of the existing garage opening up 1200 more parking spaces. 

"The top floor of the existing garage, that's used by the rental cars today, will come back for the parking of cars," said Smith. 

Add it up and next summer 2,000 additional garage spaces will come on line. News, that didn't mean much to this South Texas couple. 

"Good thing you had some extra time," said Cross. 

"Yes. Definitely," said Patti Measels.

Before you head to the airport you can call ABIA for real-time parking availability at 512-530-3300.

By Bettie Cross

Fix Coming For ABIA's Parking Problems

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