If there's one good leading indicator of a city's business and economic health, it has to be air travel.? July is peak travel in Austin in most years (my guess: Austinites vacating the heat!), and this year is no different.? But having traffic up 16%, and setting a third record for traffic in as many months, it is really impressive:
July 2015 traffic soars 16% as 1.16M passengers break airport record for 3rd straight month http://t.co/GrkzNMacwy pic.twitter.com/2ZKXgfmUxf
? Austin-Bergstrom (@AUStinAirport) August 18, 2015
The graph is really telling, because it shows the trend for each year, and the graphs just don't intersect, they parallel each other, year after year.? This reflects increased economic activity.? But also it reflects increasing numbers of direct flights - and direct flights, in my opinion, make more places accessible to travelers.
Austin just opened a new security gate area that has really improved throughput, and a new customs area that really improves international travel experiences.? But we have a long way to go to make the airport ideal for the new load we are experiencing: more investment in baggage claim and security line times is clearly needed.
Still, these are "good problems to have" as they say.