Austin's airport is angling for an upgrade, and they've made it everyone's business—quite literally. In a series of events that spanned the entirety of 2023, the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) has been rallying troops from the construction industry to bring its expansion project, dubbed Journey With AUS, into reality.
The series kicked off with an open house on January 18, welcoming the masses to hear plans for AUS's growth; it was just the beginning of what would be a six-event push to keep the construction business in the loop, and despite the open house being a modest start, it set the stage for what was to be a much more extensive outreach. A bustling Spring Industry Day followed in April, pulling in more than 300 attendees to chew over equitable procurement and sustainability, and the Austin airport wasn't content to just play host; they also hit the road, partaking in over 35 events both locally and nationally to peddle their vision and needs.
What's been the goal here? It's all about connections—melding the ambitions and resources of small and large businesses and local and national entities alike. The Small & Minority Business Resources Department (SMBR) has been at the forefront of this mingling, offering their know-how on procurement and network building that promises to extend beyond Austin's city limits.
On November's Fall Industry Day, the yearlong meet-and-greet saga reached its zenith—or so says the AUS Business and Opportunities webpage. A whisker short of 500 industry pros and aspirants gathered at the Hyatt Regency Austin, spilling into panels and networking events. The airport's team served up a smorgasbord of technology, concessions, and workforce developments for the taking—and there was no shyness about aiming high, with a suite of 34 companies on deck at networking stations and another six resource tables fielding questions galore.
As the sun sets on 2023, AUS isn't just patting itself on the back for a job well done; it remains locked on its mission—pillaring the local economy and the environment and sowing seeds for what they're pitching as a future ripe with collaboration and transformation. According to the airport's announcement, it's not just an airport expansion; it's a horizon brimming with opportunity.