The new South Terminal at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport has its grand opening today. The first flight, on Allegiant Airlines, arrives around 1:15 p.m. from Albuquerque, New Mexico. It's one of three airlines so far that will use the terminal.
The South Terminal is designed to accommodate low cost airlines at ABIA. It's a smaller terminal and passengers will have to walk outside to board their planes.
The terminal is separate from the main Barbara Jordan Terminal and it has a completely different design. The former air base building has a 1950s retro theme and cost about $12 million to renovate.
Besides Allegiant, Sun Country and ViaAir have also signed up to use the new terminal.
Jeff Pearse, CEO of Lonestar Airport Holdings which partnered with the City of Austin on the South Terminal, says travelers will get an unique experience. "One of the most exciting things about the South Terminal is we're going to have an outside concession area. Probably a first for major terminals. Once passengers check in and clear for security they'll be able to wait here in our hold room or actually go outside and enjoy food, beverage or al fresco."
Those on today's first flight will be treated to refreshments, a ribbon cutting ceremony and a traditional water cannon salute.