Austin Bergstrom International Airport
|Continent: North America||Country: United States||Region: Texas|
|Austin Bergstrom International Airport|
|Airport type||Mixed-Use Commerical|
|Overview map||City of Austin|
The airport began operations in 1999, after it was converted from the old Bergstrom AFB, ending an infamous era in Austin aviation. There has been jokes that the approach at the old airport, Robert Mueller, was so close over Interstate 35 that pilots had to quickly retract the landing gear prior to touchdown. The old facilities also left much to be desired as they were small and inadequate for a growing city. Currently, ABIA is also almost growing to be too small for its needs, but citizens have often protested that such a new airport should not have to encounter such problems yet. Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, and Continental Airlines are the airport's dominant carriers.
Official Spotting Locations
Family Viewing Area
The official spotting location is the Family Viewing Area, located near the State Aircraft Pooling Board (fancy talk for where aircraft belonging to the State of Texas gets maintained and stored.) To get to the viewing area from I-35, exit Ben White/290/71 East and follow it past the airport, turn right at Golf Course Rd. (first road after Presidential Blvd) and follow it until the end. From 183, take the 71 East exit, turn right at Golf Course Rd. and follow it until the end.
The viewing area faces west to runway 17L/35R, so it is only good for photography during the morning hours. Probably only about 30% of all commercial traffic uses this runway, for landings it's even less. Most traffic on this runway is GA.
Locations to Avoid
There is a nice place right on the 17R approach path at a cemetery at the end of Riverside Dr. Anyone there who is not visiting one of the deceased will be asked to leave.
There is a large pile of dirt located next to the GA hangars. Although it will give you a great vantage point for landings on 35R and aircraft taxiing back to the terminal after landing on 17L, it will get you in trouble.
If you go exploring around that area, you will also find a large open area near the National Guard hangar that will put you within touching distance of aircraft taxiing to 35L. It goes without saying that spotters aren't welcome back there.
There is a point at Burleson Rd. where it makes an S turn and there is a guard-rail. Behind the guard-rail may seem like a great place to spot (and it is as it is directly under the final approach for 35R,) but due to the heavy flow of car traffic, most likely some driver-by will call Austin Police and they will be even more troublesome than if Airport Police stopped by.
- Aeromexpress (ERJ-145)
- Airborne Express (767-200)
- American (MD-80, 737-800)
- American Eagle (ERJ-135/145)
- AmericanConnection (ERJ-145)
- Continental (737-300/500/700/800/900)
- Continental Express (ERJ-145)
- Delta (MD-88)
- Delta Connection (CRJ-100/200/700/900, ERJ-145, E170)
- FedEx (DC-10, MD-10)
- Frontier (A319)
- JetBlue (A320, E190)
- Northwest (DC-9)
- Northwest Airlink (CRJ-200)
- Southwest (737-300/500/700)
- United (A319, A320, 737-300/500)
- United Express (CRJ-200/700)
- UPS (A300)
- US Airways (737-300)
- US Airways Express (CRJ-900)
TransMeridian Airlines (TMA) (757-200, MD-83; they don't always fly to KAUS but they have been seen parked at gate 1)
Airborne Express also fly in an A300 and a DC-8 on Sundays.
UPS sometimes flies 757s. There are also some rare cargo visits by 747s and 727s.