AUSTIN (KXAN) - The number of people traveling through Austin Bergstrom International Airport is at a record high.
The total count for July is more than 920,000 passengers. In fact, since March and the annual South by Southwest crowds, the airport has seen record traffic through the terminal in four of the past six months. August numbers are still being tallied.
ABIA has seen record passenger traffic for the last three years, and they want to keep ahead of the growth. That's why you could soon see everything from more parking lots to retail and restaurants outside the terminal at ABIA.
The Aviation Department will ask Austin City Council Thursday to approve leasing out land for retail development. That's not all. They also want to develop some additional unused land for more parking.
Work is already underway to add 250 spots to Lot G, and 1,500 more spots it what will become Lot J.
"I think expansion on parking is pretty good idea," said airport traveler Jeannae Zuloaga.
ABIA officials say those spaces will be in use by Thanksgiving, in time for the busy holiday travel season.
Airport officials want City Council approval to lease out about 25 acres of unused land to develop covered, long term parking.
"[The land] can't be used for aviation purposes," said ABIA spokesperson Jason Zielinski, "It's too far removed from the runways and taxi ways."
The space is near the Hilton Airport Hotel and also north of State Highway 71.
"If you can offer parking that's a little further out for a little cheaper price, I'm sure a lot of people will go for that," said traveler Brandon Rudat.
Retail development near the cell phone waiting lot and the hotel is also up for Council approval Thursday. On 13 acres, the space will include at least one restaurant and a convenience store and gas station.
"This will give not only airport passengers a place to go, but also residents in the area," said Zielinski. "It would basically allow the airport to make some revenue off of land that's currently not being used and not funding revenue."
A pet hotel is part of the plans for the long-term parking addition. As far as what other businesses might go in the retail space, airport officials say they're not sure yet. But they hope to keep it local businesses, like what's inside the airport now.
KXAN told you in August about the expansion of the terminal building. There will be more baggage carousels, a ten-lane security checkpoint and eventually seven more gates on the east side of the terminal.
The University of Texas Board of Regents adjourned Thursday without taking action on the job status of embattled UT President Bill Powers.
Longhorns coach Mack Brown talked with reporters Thursday for the first time since reports surfaced this week that he could be stepping down.
After two hours of discussion regarding the final design for Auditorium Shores, the Austin City Council decided to approve the design on a vote of 7-0 with amendments.
Despite what seemed like a surge of controversies, the Austin Aquarium opened its doors to members Thursday for a private pre-entry showing.
One person was killed Thursday in a rollover crash near Cedar Creek, the Bastrop County Sheriff's Office said.
A 15-year-old girl told police she was abducted from the parking lot at Bastrop High School on Wednesday.