The noise and sights of Phantoms and Voodoos have long gone at this airport. Nowadays, the airport is primarily used by airlines. In 2013 there were eleven airlines operating to this airport, with 150 daily departures serving 41 destinations in the States and Mexico. Bergstrom Air Force Base (1942–1993) was activated during World War II as a troop carrier training airfield, and was a front-line Strategic Air Command (SAC) base during the Cold War. In its later years, it was transferred to the Tactical Air Command (TAC) and became a major base for the US Air Force's RF-4C reconnaissance fighter fleet. At the time of its closure, it was assigned to the Air Combat Command (ACC).
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is located on the old site of Bergstrom Air Force Base. It replaced Austin's Robert Mueller Municipal Airport and was opened to the public on 23 May 1999 with a 3,730 m runway, among the nation's longest commercial runways. There are 25 gates within the Barbara Jordan passenger terminal, which is designed for eventual expansion to 55 gates. (source: Wikipedia)
Runway 17R/35L, to the west of the terminal, is the original runway built and used by the Air Force. Runway 17L/35R is a new 9,000 foot (2,700 m) runway on the east side of the terminal and parallel with runway 17R/35L. The runways are watched over by a new 20-story air traffic control tower. The apron are inbetween the runways, on the north side. On the south side, the US Army has its own apron.
Austin-Bergstrom IAP is located northeast of the crossing of the Highway 71 and Highway 183, about 5 miles (8 km) southeast of Downtown Austin. The main terminal is on the exit off the Highway 71.
Around the Airport
1View onto US Army Apron
A view onto the apron of the US Army can be had on this spot. To reach spot 1, take Highway 183 southbound from downtown Austin to Lockhart. After passing the airport, at the crossing with the Exxon gas station at your right, take a left onto Burleson Road. You will pass the extended runway and will see the US Army apron at your left. Park your car at the south side of the road. Position yourself here for a proper look or to take pictures of the landing aircraft on runway 35L.
2Landing spot for runway 35R
For a view of the landing aircraft onto runway 35R, continue on the Burleson road. At the next crossing, take a left onto Highway 973. At the entrance to the right into the quarry, park your car and position yourself.
3Morning view onto runway 17L/35R
To arrive at spot 3, for a nice spot to view and photograph aircraft on the eastern runway, take Highway 71 eastbound to Bastrop. take the exit towards the airport but remain on the service road. Take the next right onto Golfcourse Road and drive to the end. Here is a parking and a rest area. Park your pick-up truck or steps to the fence to have a good view.
4Afternoon view onto runway 17L/35R
For an afternoon view, there is a nice spot on the other side of the runway. Take Highway 71 eastbound to Bastrop and take the exit towards the Airport Cargo/Service Road. At the first crossing take a right and follow the road to park across Skychef. Park your car and your steps to have a good view onto the runway.
5Morning view onto runway 17R/35L
Take Highway 71 eastbound to Bastrop and take the exit towards the Airport Cargo/Service Road. At the first crossing take a left onto Freight Lane towards the fence. Park your car here and position yourself at the gate. Alternatively, you can drive onto Rental Car Lane, then right onto Spirit of Texas drive towards a unbuilt area before the Continental Airlines hangars.
6Afternoon view onto runway 17R/35L
There is a small park near runway 17R which is good for viewing aircraft landing on this runway. Take Highway 183 southbound from downtown Austin to Lockhart. After the crossing with Highway 71, take the next left into a wooded area. Park your car here at the fence, or drive into the rest area.
Sometimes, transit military traffic are parked at the FBO. To arrive here, take Highway 183 southbound from downtown Austin to Lockhart. After passing the airport, at the crossing with the Exxon gas station at your right, take a left onto Burleson Road. You will pass the extended runway and will see the US Army apron at your left. Now take the next left onto the Emma Browning Avenue. When you see the hangars, drive around to see all aircraft and park at your convenience for some proper afternoon shots.
8Near the Tower
Near the tower, you can have a good spot for seeing all traffic. From spot 7, continue on the road and take a left towards the tower. Park your car here and position yourself.
This shot, by Reinold Kalsbeek, was made at spot 7.
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