FAA Statement on Austin Air Traffic Control Tower and Terminal Radar Approach Control facility

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Updated November 5, 2015 at 12:15 pm ET

FAA Statement

The Federal Aviation Administration successfully transferred responsibility for low-altitude airspace in the Austin area to the San Antonio radar approach control.

The radar room at the base of the Austin air traffic control tower flooded during last Friday’s record rainstorm, causing extensive damage throughout the one-story building. The FAA estimates repairs will take several weeks to complete.

During the interim, air traffic controllers from the Austin approach control will continue to work from San Antonio. Over the past few days, FAA technicians completed the complicated task of re-routing Austin’s low-altitude radar data and radio frequencies to control positions in San Antonio. Responsibility for the airspace was handed over at 10:25 p.m. Wednesday.

Traffic is moving at a reduced rate this morning due to thunderstorms in the Austin area. We expect additional delays might occur periodically throughout the day as storm cells move through the area. 

Within the next few days, we expect to complete additional efficiency improvements that will enable us to reach about 90 percent of the airport’s normal capacity. For technical and safety reasons, full capacity will not be possible until controllers return to their permanent quarters in Austin.

The agency reopened the Austin air traffic control tower Tuesday night, enabling the airport to operate on both runways. 

Travelers should continue to check with their airlines for information about specific flights.

Contact: FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford.