Airport Celebrates Beginning of Ground Load Facility

Published on October 10, 2023

City of San Antonio Aviation Department      

SAN ANTONIO (October 10, 2023) – Federal and City leaders marked the groundbreaking today of the Ground Load Facility, which will add three new ground gates at San Antonio International Airport (SAT). This is one of the major enabling projects for SAT’s Terminal Development Program – made possible because of a $20 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

SAT received the grant through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed by Congress and signed by the President last year, which allowed the airport to receive $20 million of the $150 million available for Fiscal Year 23 for medium hub airports. 

“This is such a critical project for the future of the airport – and we will get it done,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg. 

The new facility will add capacity through three new ground gates and allow new routes by both existing and new airlines. This will increase the number of gates to 30 at SAT. 

The airport’s Ground Load Facility, which was designed by Page, will be built south of Terminal A. Hensel Phelps/Page is the design-build team. The pre-engineered metal building structure will include modern passenger facilities in the estimated 37,000 sq. ft. interior space with these features: 

  1. Three new ground gates 
  2. ADA-accessible 
  3. Bilingual signage 
  4. Integrated Federal Inspection Station for international arrivals 
  5. Two levels of seating areas for passengers 
  6. Dedicated charging stations for electronic devices, workstation areas, high tabletop stations, lactation room and family rooms 
  7. Additional food and retail options 
  8. Art exhibits from local and regional creators 

“Together, San Antonio city leaders and the FAA will continue to work together on a variety of projects to include terminal expansion, airfield pavement reconfigurations, utility infrastructure, access roads and other projects,” said Ignacio Flores, Director of the FAA, Southwest Region. “San Antonio is the 45th busiest passenger airport in the nation with carriers offering year-round and seasonal nonstop service to more than 40 destinations across the United States and Europe.” 

Last week, SAT announced new international service to Mexico with Viva Aerobus flying to Queretaro in December. Last month, Condor Airlines announced new service to Frankfurt, Germany, which will begin in May 2024. 

“The Air Service Team is continuously working with partners to bring more national and international flights to the Alamo City,” said Jesus H. Saenz, Jr., Director of Airports, San Antonio Airport System. “This new facility allows us to accommodate both domestic and international flights – and gives our travelers even more affordable options.” 

Saenz thanked many supporters for making the Ground Load Facility possible: Senator John Cornyn, Congressman Joaquin Castro, Henry Cuellar, Lloyd Doggett, Tony Gonzalez and Chip Roy. 

“They have shared our plan and vision to enhance the airport and continue to carry our message to DC,” Saenz said. “This new facility helps us keep up with the demand from our passengers and prepares us for future growth.” 

Construction on the Ground Load Facility is set begin in early 2024 with a projected completion date of March 2025.