Editor’s note: A previous version of this story said city council was set to authorize “the remaining $27 million of its $52 million contract with architectural design firm, HNTB Corporation.” The story has been updated to reflect that the $27 million will actually be an increase of the current contract.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin airport is moving on to phase two of its design process in the airport expansion program, and is more than doubling its contract with the design firm.

Airport staff will ask city council to increase its current contract with architectural design firm, HNTB Corporation, by an additional $27 million for a total of $52 million. Council authorized the original $25 million contract back in December of 2021. 

HNTB is consulting the airport on how it can expand, as the city continues to grow and the need for a bigger airport becomes more apparent. The contract with HNTB will run through 2030, according to an airport spokesperson.

The airport staff says the initial $25 million was an “estimate to support the initial planning efforts” of the expansion program, according to documents attached to the agenda item. The additional money will be used to “support the development of program definition documents,” “airport development standards,” “campus wide wayfinding,” “landscaping plans,” “completing digital governance guidelines for document storage,” and “control and Concession Plan,” according to documents.

Elizabeth Ferrer, a spokesperson for the airport, said phase one of the design phase has been about long-term feasibility studies and creating a vision for expanding the airport. The next phase will focus on creating a firm outline on the projects it can do, what order the projects will be done, and how much they will cost.

Phase two will start focusing on some of the bigger expansion projects, like the midfield concourse with the underground connector tunnel. 

“They’re looking at, is this possible? How can we maximize the space and the dollars that we have available? And how do we make it happen?” Ferrer explained.

Ferrer said some of the smaller projects are currently in the design phase, like the atrium infill project, which will expand passenger processing.