The new U.S. Customs processing center at ABIA got its first real test last year when international flights arrived with thousands of F1 fans. Thursday, the center is once again -- expected to be packed.
"What we are also seeing is what the airlines are doing for the additional people who are coming, we've got six airlines who have increased the size of their aircraft's just for race and I think we have five charter flights who have scheduled during this race weekend,” said ABIA spokesperson Derick Hackett.
In 2015, the post-race exodus from the Circuit of the Americas was the busiest departure day of the year at ABIA. The 23,164 passengers who left then exceeded the previous record set in 2013, by a little more than 400 departures.
There were other big Mondays after a F1 race which also produced big fly outs in 2012 and 2014. In anticipation of another busy departure day this year- extra personnel are being brought in as well as entertainment.
"Along with our normal 23 performances per month we are bringing in a couple of extra shows because we know the crowds are going to be a little bit ... louder and a little bit more active on the concourse so we are going to provide that Austin music theme we are known for, and our hospitality and provide more of that four out for folks waiting for their planes," said Hackett.
More people heading out increases the odds of someone leaving an unallowable item in their carryon. It has happened a lot in Austin and hand guns are a big problem."
So far this year- 52 fire arms have been seized at ABIA checkpoints. That's on pace to exceed the 57 detected last year -- and well past the 45 found two years ago.
"I don’t think they had a bad intent, I just think they were careless in packing and we have x-ray that can see through their luggage and we find a lot, detect a lot of things that could cause harm," said ABIA TSA Security Director Mike Scott.
Not just guns, but screeners at ABIA have found an assortment of knives, hooks, hammers and even inert hand grenades. They all may be novelty gifts, but they can cause a scare and quickly get you diverted off a flight.
"If they had packed these items in their check luggage there is a good chance nothing would happen and they would not have been inconvenienced,” said Scott.
For those flying out this weekend as well as the first part of next week- it’s advised you get to the airport at least an hour and a half before your flight takes off.