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Austin airport not expecting to shut down air travel, but winter weather could delay or cancel flights

 A Delta Air Lines flight departs from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in 2019.
Gabriel C. Pérez
A Delta Air Lines flight departs from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in 2019.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport doesn't expect freezing rain will force the closure of runways this week.

"We're not expecting any significant impacts to airfield operations at this time," airport spokesperson Sam Haynes said. "What we're expecting for this weather event is something we've experienced in the past."

After freezing rain causes ice to start accumulating, both runways are treated with a deicer called E36. Airlines are responsible for deicing their own planes.

Airport staff are working on plans to close smaller overpasses on the ABIA campus. If that happens, roads would be reconfigured so people can still get to where they need to go.

The cell phone parking lot where people wait to pick up arriving passengers is not staffed by the city's Department of Aviation. The gas station, restaurants and other businesses in the parking lot could close if employees can't drive to work.

But the airfield rarely shuts down. The last time it closed was during the February 2021 winter storm when it was coated with 6 inches of snow. Prior to that, the airfield closed after torrential rains in 2015 flooded the air traffic control tower.

The Barbara Jordan Terminal itself never closes.

The winter weather could still cause flight delays and cancellations, so you should check with your airline before driving to the airport.

"What we don't want is somebody showing up to the airport after their flight has already been canceled and then not being able to safely make it home because the roadways have deteriorated," Haynes said.

One option if you have a flight Thursday is to stay at the Hilton Austin Airport. As of early Wednesday afternoon, rooms were still available.

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Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion-dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on X @KUTnathan.
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