The Regional Economic Impact of New Airport Construction: The Case of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

In the late 1980, it became apparent that Austin’s Robert Mueller Municipal Airport would not be equal to the demands generated by the growth of the city surrounding it. Consequently, in September 1993, Austin voters approved $400 million in revenue bonds to build a new airport at the site of Bergstrom Air Force Base. The $585 million Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA), the largest construction project in the city’s history, opened for the cargo operations in 1997 and began passenger operations in 1999. ABIA provides a strong example of the immediate economic benefits and pressing policy issues that accompany large infrastructure projects, such as the building of a new airport.