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Old Posted Sep 30, 2020, 6:25 AM
Paul in S.A TX's Avatar
Paul in S.A TX Paul in S.A TX is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Far West Bexar County
Posts: 3,555
Originally Posted by ILUVSAT View Post
First, DFW had almost 50 million visitors in 2019 (25+ million of which visited the City of Dallas). And, I believe he 22 million for Houston was only visitors to the City of Houston.

I take those numbers with a huge grain of salt. And, the way they are compiled is different in every metro. The vast majority of San Antonio's visitors are day trippers.

Second, SAT will never be a true/large HUB for a legacy airline (a ULCC - maybe). And, it is up to a specific airline on whether or not to HUB an airport. SAT cannot build its way into a HUB. Even if they tried, how would they pay for it without the commitment of an airline?

Additionally, in the post-COVID environment, airlines are not going to create new HUBs - rather, they are going to strengthen the ones they have (and/or eliminate smaller ones).

I would agree with the notion of thinking "big." Heck, shoot for the moon and be happy with just getting into orbit.

A new airport in SA is definitely a possibility. But, again, how would you pay for it? A PPP with one of the bases in town could be beneficial.

Nonetheless, a true/large HUB is not in the cards for San Antonio. As far as the legacies go, American is not going to create a HUB ~250 miles south of its main HUB; United is not going to develop one ~195 west of theirs at IAH. Southwest already has two HUBs in Texas and Delta has already indicated the possibility of ramping up operations out of AUS. However, in the post-COVID environment - we'll see what becomes of those plans.

With regard to a Austin/San Antonio airport...please give up. It's never going to happen. Austin pushed the idea with leaders of San Antonio back in the 1980's and again in the mid-1990's - in both instances, SA shot them down.

Additionally, airport leaders in Austin have already publicly said they don't need a new airport between the two cities. AUS's growth has been phenomenal and they have plenty of land to expand (it's not a mid-tier airport anymore). Heck, pre-COVID, they were working toward beginning a $4 billion expansion to the airport - set to have begun in 2021 with a completion in 2025 (phase 1) and 2027 (phase 2). That plan has been pushed back by 2-3 years.

***Bottom line, I like the direction the mayor and the aviation department are heading. A new terminal is needed and I hope they can achieve it. I too, agree that a look at NOLA's new terminal is warranted. However, don't copy their process - it was riddled with delays and cost overruns.

Those 50 million visitors to DFW could have visited various cities within the metro and be a statistic to each an every city.

The same can be said for San Antonio's city versus metro annual visitor counts. It would be a difficult task to try to extropolate statistical information of the activity of a tourist/visitor within a metro.

San Antonio's largest suburb historic New Braunfels/Gruene attract 3 million people annually. Adjacent to New Braunfels, San Marcos(Metro Austin) sees 7 million annual visitors. The San Antonio/Austin region draw more than 70 million total annual visitors pre-covid era.

The only reason why I mentioned visitor stats in the first place is to show that airports with high passenger activity(e.g. HUB Airports) doesn't necessarily mean that said city generates tens of millions more people utilizing the local airport. Being a hub airport does raise passenger counts exponentialy if the base of a major airliner.

I doubt it would happen either with two major hubs within 200-300 miles. Salt Lake, Anchorage, St. Louis although smaller HUB airports don't have a Dallas or Houston nearby.

I was merely stating a wish list of what I would like to see in our regions future. We have the growth, the populace, economics, etc. San Antonio-Austin aren't the same cities that they were in the 80's and 90's and the vision of a joint airport should be revisited. I'd rather see an S.A./Austin airport rather than two big airports even if a HUB isn't possible.

This region is only going to get bigger and to have a tad-bit better than mediocre air service with San Antonio facing the most obstacles to achieve world class air service.
2018 S. A. Pop.1.51 million
metro 2.5 million/REGION 4.7million
San Antonio economy and largest economic sectors. Annual contribution towards GDP.
U.S. Dept of Defense $48.5 billion/Manufacturing $40.5 billion/Healthcare-Biosciences $40 billion/Finance-Insurance $20 billion/Tourism $15 billion/ Technology $10 billion.

Last edited by Paul in S.A TX; Sep 30, 2020 at 7:24 AM.
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