(TheRedAlertNews.com) – This week, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) in Austin, Texas, sent out a fuel shortage warning, alerting passengers that they should arrive two hours early now while the state’s capital experiences an inflow of travelers.
The Monday alert also instructed arriving flights to land with more fuel than usual should the airport be unable to refuel the plane.
A spokesperson for ABIA, Sam Haynes, stated that since “the airport is seeing increased flight activity,” such alerts were becoming “a more regular occurrence.” Haynes continued, saying, “There are no immediate impacts to operations, but it’s possible flights could have to divert to refuel before landing at AUS.”
The news comes as frustrated passengers took to social media to express frustration at lines to get through security that wrapped around outside the airport as they tried to make their flights.
ABIA also carries less fuel than the industry average of 5 to 7 days, only carrying 2 to 3 days of fuel. However, this could change as the airport is currently finalizing a new fuel storage facility.
The 23-year-old airport was built to handle approximately 11 million passengers a year, a figure that it will eclipse in 2022. Annually the airport records an increase in passengers during SXSW — which concluded on March 20 — and the Austin City Limits music festival, the city’s two major events. But a handful of other events also make it necessary for Austin to have a major airport.
However, the fuel shortage isn’t only exacerbated by these events. Instead, it represents the growing pains of the city that is increasing by an estimated 145 people per day, or 53,266 per year.
Another reason the airport is exhausting its capacity frequently has to do with more companies and people moving to the state, something the airport addressed in statements earlier this year.
“As more people and businesses move to Austin and Central Texas, AUS has experienced a rising demand for air travel, with early projections for 2022 passenger volumes meeting similar record-breaking numbers experienced in 2019, which saw over 17 million passengers fly out of AUS.”