AUSTIN (KXAN) — This weekend, those with the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport will host in-person and virtual meetings to answer any questions the community may have on the new jet fuel storage facility.
The 6-million gallon capacity facility will kick off construction this spring on Phase 1 of the project which includes two 1.5 million gallon tanks. The first phase is expected to take about two years to complete.
The new storage facility is part of the airport’s 2040 Master Plan and will be constructed on the west side of the airport backing up to U.S. 183 near McCall Lane.
Neighbors who live down McCall Lane continue to voice their concerns.
“My sources tell me it’s a done deal but I don’t like it. I don’t understand why they can expand on the other side,” said Richard Flecther.
Another concern from neighbors is the safety surrounding the new facility and the fuel itself. Airport officials say “Jet A” fuel, is not nearly as combustible as gasoline. They said they selected this site because it allows them to connect it to the existing facility using an “underground transfer line.” Adding that it allows them to maximize the fuel storage capacity.
Currently, the Austin airport has a 2 to 3 day supply of fuel. Less than many other airports that usually keep around a 5 to 7-day fuel supply.
Airport officials said the new site will only exist to receive and store fuel.
“This is a very critical project for us to both be able to support the immediate demand but also sets the stage for us to be able to meet any future flights or carrier service in the long term,” said Sam Haynes, an ABIA spokesperson.
Last fall, they had to divert three flights because of a lack of fuel.
Saturday they will host in-person and virtual meetings in English and Spanish. The in-person meeting at the airport at 9:30 a.m. and at 11:30 a.m. The online Zoom meeting does not require people to preregister and will take place from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. They’re asking those interested in attending to register. Those who would like to attend can register for the in-person meeting can email AirportEngagement@AustinTexas.gov or call the airport community engagement team at (512) 715-4287.
Eventually, airport officials said they will demolish the current site of the jet fuel storage facility. That area will be used for future development. The airport plans to eventually add a third runaway.