AUSTIN (KXAN) — Your next flight could be diverted to Austin.
Austin’s airport receives more diversions than any other airport in the nation, according to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
Neither airlines or passengers want a diversion, but they happen. A flight diversion happens when a pilot is unable to land at the original arrival destination. The flight is then routed to a different airport before getting back on track, according to flight tracking website Flight View. Diverted flights can occur when there’s bad weather, technical problems, medical emergencies, closed airports or blocked runways.
Most diversions to Austin are because of weather. AUS is in close proximity (35-45 minute flight) to four busy airports: Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Dallas Love Field Airport, George Bush Intercontinental Airport and William P. Hobby Airport, making it a prime location for diversions, said airport spokesperson Bailey Grimmett.
The space at AUS also makes it so the airport can handle more diverted flights. This includes two long runways and airfield parking positions that can accommodate a lot of planes at once.
Austin’s airport is also home to all the major airlines with a diversion plan that can handle international passengers in case Customs Border Protection is needed, said Grimmett.
In recent years, 2019 had the highest number of flights diverted to AUS, with 574 in total. From January through July this year, 190 flights were diverted to Austin.
The summer months are when most flights are diverted to AUS. Each month from May through August typically sees at least 50 flights diverted in an average year.
That compares to fewer than 15 in both February and November.
The airport is currently in the process of expanding its facilities to accommodate the record number of travelers passing through this year.