Formula 1 race weekend causes flight delays, record-setting day at Austin’s airport

F1 Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin-Bergstrom International Airport broke its all-time record of passengers traveling through the airport in one day. Airport officials estimate 35,000 to 36,000 people flew through the airport Monday.

According to airport spokesman Bryce Dubee, every year, the Monday after Formula 1’s event at Circuit of the Americas is AUS’ busiest day of the year. The airport’s previous record was set two years ago after the race, when 31,000 people traveled through in one day.

For context, however, Dubee says the airport is regularly much more busy than it used to be, with anywhere from 28,000 to 30,000 people flying through on Fridays and Sundays on any given weekend.

On Sunday, however, a different type of air traffic caused issues. According to AUS, a higher number of private planes and charter flights were taking off from ABIA than usual.

The FAA says all of the extra F1 traffic caused air traffic delays.

Dubee says while airport traffic will slow down slightly with the passing of F1, heavy traffic will pick back up for the holidays.

“We’re anticipating this holiday season is going to be one of our busiest ever, if not the busiest,” Dubee said. “A lot of folks who put off travel last year are going to be coming out to travel this year.”

AUS says asking travelers to arrive two-and-a-half to three hours early will be the norm on those peak travel days like the day before Thanksgiving.

To help with congestion, the airport is working on creating an additional security checkpoint.

Additionally, Dubee says, “We are working closely both with our TSA partners, with our airlines. We’ve really changed some of the infrastructure in the terminal with our queueing systems to kind of allow for more passengers to be processed through.”

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