Regional News

Apr 2023

State of Aviation in Greater SATX

Staff Reports

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Aviation in Greater San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio is the proud birthplace of military aviation. In 1917, the U.S. Army Air Corps established Kelly Field as a pilot training site during WWI. Ever since, the U.S. military and San Antonio have been working together to establish the Greater San Antonio region as a leader in aviation and aerospace.

Today, the San Antonio International Airport (SAT) generates an annual economic impact of $5.2 billion. Over 10 million passengers fly in and out of SAT each year, and in the next 2 decades, that number could almost double to 18 million per year.

The aviation industry is transforming post-pandemic as airlines are expected to continue reevaluating underperforming routes that can be replaced by nonstop service to growing destinations like San Antonio. As one of the fastest-growing regions in the country, San Antonio is poised to secure additional service from those airlines reprioritizing aircraft and labor. greater:SATX will keep articulating that value proposition and leveraging the momentum the region has to win. greater:SATX and partners at the City of San Antonio are committed to investing in the future of SAT.

“We are going to be the airport of the future.”

– Jesus Saenz,

Director of Airports for City of San Antonio

Attracting New Air Service to the San Antonio International Airport

Passenger air connectivity continues to be a driving factor in companies’ consideration for investment, relocation, and expansion. By connecting passengers directly to more than 40 domestic destinations and Mexico, SAT is the largest airport serving the South Texas region. greater:SATX is a strategic partner to SAT in its efforts to continue enhancing and expanding the airport to best serve the growing San Antonio region. The recently announced $2.5 billion airport expansion plan includes a new terminal, an additional five gates, a parking garage, and a ground transportation center.

With the launch of the regional Air Service Development Fund, which is added support from our private sector to supplement the growth of SAT, leaders from across the region seek to increase South Texas’ direct connectivity to underserved markets globally. The creation of this fund aligns investments to competitively position the Greater San Antonio, Texas region for economic growth today and in the future. 

“San Antonio International Airport has significantly grown nonstop service in recent years. It’s time for us to leverage our resources from across the region to reach the next level. H-E-B is proud to be based in San Antonio. We’re committed to investing in our airport, our air service, and building on the incredible culture and wonderful, inspiring spirit of San Antonians. This initiative can help our greater San Antonio region attract more business investment that ultimately provides more jobs for San Antonians.”

-Craig Boyan

President of H-E-B and officer of greater:SATX

How airport expansion supports regional growth

Last year, San Antonio had the highest population growth in the nation. Of the top 10 largest cities, San Antonio was one of only two cities to increase its population, and though San Antonio is an established large city, there is so much room for new growth. As this growth trend continues, San Antonio and Austin, and the corridor between them, are inevitably developing into the next U.S. mega-region

The investments the region is making today in the Air Service Development Fund will continue to support economic competitiveness and strengthen San Antonio for its megaregional future. By prioritizing the top underserved markets, the fund will initially target Europe, Canada, and other domestic cities to support the continued growth of SAT and best serve the San Antonio region and beyond as the aviation industry continues to transform post-pandemic.  Supporting the SAT airport directly supports job growth in Greater San Antonio. As part of greater:SATX’s regional five-year plan, the organization has prioritized growing air connectivity to ensure global brands can connect with the world from San Antonio. Alongside a foundational commitment to invest in people through workforce development practices, significant investments in place enable greater quality of life.

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