Austin History Center

Austin (Tex.). Aviation Department Records

An Inventory to the Collection



Overview of the Collection

Creator: Austin (Tex.). Aviation Department
Title: Austin (Tex.). Aviation Department Records
Inclusive Dates: 1941-2002
Bulk Dates: 1989-1999
Abstract: This collection documents the last major expansion of the Robert Mueller Municipal Airport passenger terminal and the planning, construction, and opening of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The collection consists of photographs and other media, drawings, correspondence, press releases, and newspaper clippings, as well as meeting agendas and minutes of the Austin City Council's Aviation Subcommittee and Council work sessions.
Identification: AR.1996.025
Quantity: 4.8 linear feet (12 boxes), 9 artifacts (1 box), .25 flat file drawer (3 architectural drawings)
Location: Archives stacks, Outer Vault, Artifacts, Architectural Archives
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, 810 Guadalupe, PO BOX 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Administrative History

The City of Austin Department of Aviation (DOA) was established in 1953 to oversee Austin's city-owned airport operations and maintenance. The Department has operated as a self-supporting entity since 1972, funded by airport-generated revenues.

Austin's first municipal airport, named for city council member Robert Mueller, opened for aviation service in 1930. Anticipating no room for significant expansion on a site surrounded by urban growth, the City of Austin explored alternative sites for its municipal airport in the 1970s and 1980s, even as it made modifications and improvements to facilitate ever-increasing passenger and cargo traffic at Robert Mueller Municipal Airport (RMMA). In 1989, the City of Austin approved the last major expansion of the Robert Mueller Airport to increase capacity before a new airport was planned, designed, and constructed. This project, at $9,307,000, was the largest of three contracts in the late 1980s to enlarge the airport before the new one was built. The expansion added five gates and terminal facilities on the east side of the airport; baggage conveyors and rental car space on the west side; a gabled roof over the concourse; new carpeting in the terminal; heating, ventilation and air conditioning capacity increase; and other improvements. The architect/engineer for the expansion was the Greiner Austin Team (joint venture of Graeber, Simmons & Cowan of Austin, Espey, Huston & Co. of Austin, and Greiner Engineering Corporation of Dallas). The contractor was Cahaba Construction Company of San Antonio, Texas. The City of Austin's project manager was Gary Kosut.

In 1991, when the United States Base Realignment and Closure Commission designated Bergstrom Air Force Base (BAFB) in southeastern Travis County for closure, plans moved forward in earnest for development of a new airport at the Bergstrom site. City of Austin voters overwhelmingly approved the issuance of $400 million in bonds for a new airport in May 1993. On November 19, 1994, the city broke ground for its new airport. Conversion of the former military airfield was overseen by the New Airport Project Team (NAPT), a partnership between the City of Austin and engineering firm Parsons Brinckerhoff. Austin architectural firm Page Southerland Page and the Morganti Group, Inc. served as architect of record and contractor for the terminal building, which was named in honor of former Congresswoman Barbara Jordan. The original 12,500-foot runway used by the Air Force was reconditioned for use at the new airport, and a new 9,000-foot runway was added. The cost of the new airport was $690 million, financed wholly by revenue bonds and federal grants. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) opened for business on May 23, 1999, a day after aviation service at the Robert Mueller Airport ceased.


Scope and Contents

This collection documents the last major expansion of the Robert Mueller Municipal Airport (RMMA) passenger terminal and the planning, construction, and opening of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA), as created and compiled by staff of the Aviation Department. The collection consists of photographs and other media, architectural and engineering drawings, correspondence, press releases, and newspaper clippings, as well as meeting agendas and minutes of the Austin City Council's Aviation Subcommittee and Council work sessions. Some folders contain historical aviation-related materials outside of the bulk dates of the collection. The collection is arranged in two series: Construction and Expansion Projects, and Oversight.

Series I, Construction and Expansion Projects, is arranged into two subseries documenting the last expansion of RMMA, as well as the planning, design, and construction of ABIA.

The Robert Mueller Municipal Airport Terminal Expansion Project subseries contains project files consisting of 183 color 8.5x12" photographs and 8 explanatory diagrams. The photographs, documenting work from late summer 1989 to spring 1990, show different phases of the construction of the new east terminal. Little information is given on the reverse of each photograph, but the explanatory diagrams provide some orientation to what section of the airport is pictured. (These items, donated by project manager Gary Kosut, were previously accessioned as AR.1999.015. Austin (Tex.). Aviation Department. Robert Mueller Municipal Airport Terminal Expansion Photograph Collection.)

The subseries also contains records of the Aviation Department's Newsletter Committee, including issues of the Mueller Tenant Newsletter, which kept tenants at RMMA apprised of issues such as construction progress, security, and developments regarding the new airport. Marketing and communication materials also document the planning and execution of the new terminal grand opening on April 19, 1990. These materials consist of color photographs, invitations, news clippings, the guest list, letters of congratulations, and staff notes.

The Austin Bergstrom International Airport Construction Project subseries comprises the bulk of the collection and is further divided into sub-subseries Administrative Records, Project Files, and Marketing and Communications. Some RMMA material was retained in this subseries to preserve original order. Much of the material in this subseries was donated by Stanley Evans, a project manager with the Aviation Department during design and construction.

The Administrative Files include a spiral-bound copy of the final Program Status Report of the New Airport Project Team (NAPT), dated April 30, 1999. Four VHS tapes document various administrative projects associated with the new airport, including a safety orientation and information on the Art in Public Places Project.

The Project Files are divided into textual and photographic materials, although some photographs were kept with textual files to preserve original order. The textual materials document decision points, budgets and cost estimates, request for proposals, and construction progress, and include interoffice memos and meeting notes of the NAPT. Working drawings for the air traffic control tower, TRACON (terminal radar approach control facility) base building, and passenger terminal facility, as well as the issue-for-bid drawings for the terminal apron construction are available on microfilm. Press releases, news clippings, ephemera (including a 1946 RMMA coffee shop menu, pulled for a possible historical aviation display at the new airport), drawings, and color photographs were removed from a staff binder documenting progress on the new airport and placed into folders. Approximately .8 linear feet of photographic materials include color photographs, slides, negatives, and a CD-ROM of 71 digital images. Most of the digital images also appear in the form of 4x6" color photographs. The photographic materials document land-clearing operations, demolition, aerial views, excavations, terminal construction, a historic cemetery near the airport, runways, paving of the cargo facility apron, construction workers, and staff.

The Marketing and Communication Files consist of 2.5 linear feet of textual materials, photographic materials, media, and artifacts documenting internal and external communications about the new airport. Materials in 3-ring binders were removed, kept in original order, and placed into folders. Included in the textual materials are historical materials about aviation in Austin, including an autographed copy of Walter E. Long's Wings Over Austin (1962). Also included are newspaper clippings and magazine articles, department bulletins, and news releases produced by the public relations staff within the department. A variety of department-produced newsletters and FAQs (frequently asked questions) document community relations efforts during planning and construction of ABIA, including the process undertaken to name the new airport. Photos and media within the Marketing and Communications Files include the contents of a 3-ring binder labeled "Bergstrom Air Force Base History, 1958." Photographs document the groundbreaking and grand opening ceremonies, as well as the last flight departing RMMA, the first flight departing ABIA, a rally protesting the airport relocation, the relocation of duplexes from the former site of Bergstrom Air Force Base, an American Airlines strike (believed to have taken place at RMMA), and a visit from President Bill Clinton in 1999. Artifacts in this subseries include a sign, cups, a sticker, and baseball caps for the NAPT and a computer card from the old control tower.

Series II, Oversight, consists of documents from the Austin City Council's Aviation Subcommittee and Council work sessions related to aviation matters. Records include meeting agendas, meeting minutes, open meeting notices, backup material, and reports presented to the subcommittee and Council members. The Aviation Subcommittee Files document discussions in 1991-1992 about the need for a new airport and analyses of the suitability of Bergstrom Air Force Base for that purpose. Minutes of the Aviation Subcommittee's 1993 minutes appear in the meeting materials of the Austin City Council subseries. The Austin City Council Files document special called meetings and work sessions of the Council from 1993 to 1997. Records in the meeting packets for the special called meetings, all occurring in 1993, include minutes of the Aviation Subcommittee meetings, Requests for Qualifications for engineers and architects for the new airport, environmental studies, and financial analyses. Records from Council work sessions on aviation items in 1993-1995 document progress on the construction of the new airport, including the naming process, financial reports.


Arrangement

The collection arrived in several transfers from the City of Austin Aviation Department. Material in 3-ring binders was removed for preservation purposes and housed in folders corresponding to section dividers in the binders, if such dividers existed. Original order and folder headings were retained when possible.
The collection incorporates a previously processed collection (AR.1999.015. Austin (Tex.). Aviation Department. Robert Mueller Municipal Airport Terminal Expansion Photograph Collection).
The collection is arranged into two series:
Materials in each subseries are organized chronologically.
I. Construction and Expansion Projects, 1989-1999
Robert Mueller Municipal Airport Terminal Expansion Project, 1989-1990
Austin Bergstrom International Airport Construction Project, 1992-1999
II. Oversight, 1992-1997
Aviation Subcommittee Files, 1991-1992
Austin City Council Files, 1993-1997

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use

The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.


Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Organizations:
Austin (Tex.). Austin City Council.
Austin (Tex.). Aviation Department.
Austin (Tex.). Aviation Subcommittee.
Places:
Austin (Tex.)--Buildings, structures, etc.
Austin (Tex.)--Pictorial works.
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
Robert Mueller Municipal Airport.
Subjects:
Airports--Texas--Austin.
Municipal government--Texas--Austin.
Document Types:
Architectural drawings.
Black-and-white negatives.
Black-and-white photographs.
Color negatives.
Color photographs.
Color slides.
Correspondence.
Digital images
Ephemera.
Marketing materials.
Meeting records.
Newspaper clippings.
Video recordings.

Related Material

Austin Files - Subject


  • Bergstrom Air Force Base B2580
  • Municipal Airport M8600

Archives and Manuscripts


  • AR.1992.025 Austin (Tex.). Mayor's Office. Bruce Todd Records.
  • AR.2000.024 Bergstrom-Austin Community Council Records.
  • AR.2011.011 Austin (Tex.). Boards and Commissions. Austin Airport Advisory Commission Records.
  • AR.2016.006 Bergstrom Air Force Base Restoration Advisory Board Records.

Architectural Archives


  • FILM-033 (4 rolls) Austin Bergstrom International Airport. Passenger Terminal Facility. AIP Project #3-48-0359, CIP #488 817-0911. Includes Project manuals and drawings.
  • FILM-043 Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Terminal Apron Construction. Issue for bid drawings.


Administrative Information

Custodial History

COA transfers

Preferred Citation

Austin (Tex.). Aviation Department Records (AR.1996.025). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/1996/029; DO/1997/060; DO/1980/028

Donation Date: Multiple donations

Processing Information

Finding aid and EAD for initial collection (AR.1999.015) by Sarah Sauri/July 2014. Initial processing for expanded collection by Nicole Davis/2016. Final processing and finding aid by Frances Rickard/August 2016.


Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Construction and Expansion Projects, 1989-1999

Robert Mueller Municipal Terminal Expansion Project, 1989-1990
Project Files - Photographic Materials, 1989-1990
Box Folder
1 1 Color photographs (#001-008), 1989 July 31
2 Color photographs (#009-021), 1989 September 5
3 Color photographs (#022-028), 1989 September 13
4 Color photographs (#029-042), 1989 October 6
5 Color photographs (#043-057), 1989 October 13
6 Color photographs (#057-066), 1989 October 25
7 Color photographs (#067-088), 1989 December 1
8 Color photographs (#089-118), 1990 January 5
9 Color photographs (#119-126), 1990 January 16
10 Color photographs (#127-133), 1990 January 30
11 Color photographs (#134-141), 1990 February 14
12 Color photographs (#142-158), 1990 March 16
13 Color photographs (#159-167), 1990 April 9
14 Color photographs (#168-176), 1990 May 14
15 Color photographs (#177-183), 1990 July
Marketing and Communications, 1988-1990
Box Folder
2 1 Tenant Newsletter Committee - newsletters, internal memos, 1988-1990
2-3 Phase III Grand Opening - clippings, notes, ephemera, black-and-white proof sheet, color photographs (#184-195, 258), 1990 April
Location Location
Outer Vault Color negatives drawer Phase III Grand Opening - color negatives, 1990 April
Black-and-white negatives drawer Phase III Grand Opening - black-and-white negatives, 1990 April
Austin Bergstrom International Airport Construction Project, 1992-1999
Administrative, 1993-1998
Textual Materials
Box Folder
2 4 Program Status Report (final), 1999 April 30
Photographs and Media
Box
12 Aviation Subcommittee videocassette, 1993 December 1
ABIA Passenger Terminal - Art in Public Places Project Information videocassette, 1994 December 10
Airport Advisory Board videocassette, 1997 August 19
ABIA Safety Orientation Video videocassette, 1998
Project Files, 1946-1999
Textual Materials
Box Folder
2 5-6 "New Austin Airport Airside Projects - What's In and What's Not" (3-ring binder), 1994-1995
7 Decision Points - memos, notes, 1994-1995
8 Airport Traffic Data - Lessons Learned Conference, 1995-1997
Location FFDrawer
Architectural Archives FF-001/NAPT Site plan showing existing buildings and proposed improvements (NAPT-1998001), 1998
FF-001/NAPT Aerial photo of ABIA site with drawings of superimposed (NAPT-1998002), 1998
Box Folder
3 1 NAPT documents, 1995-1997
2-3 General project information - press releases, clippings, plans, ephemera, color photographs (#196-208) (3-ring binder), 1946, 1993-1997
Photographic Materials
Box Folder
3 4 P. Edwards - Construction and demolition - digital photographs, 1992-1998
5 Building Details - color photographs (#209-236), ca. October 1992
6 Aerial Views - Buildings and fields - color photographs (#237-257), ca. 1993
7 Aerial Views - Surrounding Area - color photographs (#259-283), ca. 1993
8 Building and Grounds - Demolition - color photographs (#284-291), ca. 1995-1996
9 New airport - color photographs (#292-321), 1996
Location Location
Outer Vault Color negatives drawer Drainage - color slides, 1996
Box Folder
3 10 Land clearing operations - color photographs (#322-331), ca. 1996 May
11 Cargo Terminal Excavations and Demolition - color photographs (#332-339), ca. 1996
12 Miscellaneous construction views - color photographs (#340-345), ca. 1996
13 Graveyard near ABIA - color photographs (#346-351), ca. 1996
Blue Album
Box Folder
4 1 Cargo A2000 - color photographs (#352-475), 1996-1997
2 Cargo ponds - color photographs (#476-488), 1996 March-May
3 MCT A4000 - color photographs (#489-569), 1996
4 West Runway A5000 - color photographs (#570-614), 1996
5 Views from old ATCT - color photographs (#615-616), Undated
6 PT prep T8000 - color photographs (#617-632), 1996 February-March
7 East Runway - color photographs (#633-635), October 1996
8 Electric Vault - color photographs (#636-647), 1996
9 FAA Tower - color photographs (#648-653), 1996
10 ARFF (Airport Reserve and Fire Fighting) station - color photographs (#654-658), 1996
11 Documents and ephemera, 1995
12 ABIA/NAPT - Staff and group photos - color photographs (#659-676), 1996-1999
Location Location
Outer Vault Color negatives drawer Apron and PTF start - color slides, 1997 January 6
Box Folder
4 13 Aerial views - Terminal and runway progress - color photographs (#677-693), ca. 1997 April
14 New airport construction - runways - color photographs (#694-719), 1997 May
Location Location
Outer Vault Color negatives drawer New airport construction - runways - color negatives, 1997 May
Box Folder
4 15 New airport construction - paving of cargo facility apron - color photographs (#720-731), 1997 June
Location Location
Outer Vault Color negatives drawer New airport construction - paving of cargo facility apron - color negatives, 1997 June
Box Folder
4 16 Photos for/by Hilary Clark - color photographs (#732-749), 1997 August
17 Passenger Terminal Facility - color photographs (#750-764), 1997 November 21
18 SOFIA project 747 - color photographs (#765-769), 1997 November 21
19 Terminal Foundation - concrete work and backfilling operations - color photographs (#770-780), ca. 1997
20 Terminal views, exterior, superstructure, and framing progress - color photographs (#781-799), ca. 1997
21 FAA Awards and others - color photographs (#800-805), ca. 1997
22 Cargo terminal operations (new) - color photographs (#806-817), ca. 1998
23 Terminal Interior construction progress - color photographs (#818-820), ca. 1998
24 Aerial views - new buildings, terminal and ground development - color photographs (#821-829), ca. 1998
25 New airport construction - color photographs (#830-845), 1998-1999
26 Inaugural Flight - color photographs (#846-866), 1999 May 22-23
Location Location
Outer Vault Color negatives drawer Inaugural Flight - color negatives, 1999 May 22-23
Box Folder
5 1 New airport - views - color photographs (#867-897), undated
2 New airport - Terminal construction - color photographs (#898-918), undated
3 Completion events - color photographs (#919-958), undated
Location Location
Outer Vault Color negatives drawer Completion events - color negatives, undated
Box Folder
5 4 Assorted/unidentified - color photographs (#959-960), 1997
Location Location
Outer Vault Color negatives drawer Assorted/unidentified - color negatives, 1997
Marketing and Communications, 1941-2000
Textual Materials
Box Folder
5 5 Historical materials - booklets, newsletters, magazines, documents, 1961-2000
6-8 Airport info - clippings, DOA bulletins, 1988-1994
9 Aviation info - clippings, DOA bulletins, Airport Business Opportunity Forum documents, 1995
Box Folder
6 1 Aviation info - clippings, DOA bulletins, 1996
2 Airport info - magazine, ephemera, 2000 ABIA directory, 1995-2002
3-4 NAPT/ABIA information (white binder) - clippings, press releases, ephemera, color photograph (#961), 1996-1999
5-6 "ABIA" (3-ring binder) - clippings, press releases, plans, ephemera 1999
Box Folder
7 1 New airport - Summary of studies, 1975-1986
2 Friends of Mueller (Dick Stanford), 1986-1987
3-7 News releases, 1988-1995
8 National Weather Service Snapshots - publication, ca. 1991
9 Bergstrom Conversion Bulletin, 1992
10 The Bergstrom Proposition, 1993
11 Sound Insulation of Three Schools Near Robert Mueller Municipal Airport, 1992
12 ABIA development - bulletins, FAQs, staff presentation, 1992-1994
Box Folder
8 1-4 Press Releases, 1992-1995
5 RMMA - Passenger Facility Charge, 1993
6 Airport Good Neighbor Program, 1993-1995
7 Federal Aviation Administration approval and grant, 1994
8 BAFB Conversion, 1994
9 New airport naming process, 1994
10 Last press release copies, 1994
11 Groundbreaking, 1994
12-13 Groundbreaking ceremony (large blue folder), 1994
Box Folder
9 1-3 Groundbreaking ceremony (large blue folder), 1994
4 Groundbreaking ceremony press packet, 1994
5-6 Press releases, 1994-1995
7 New Airport Updates, 1994-1995
8 New Airport Community Support Committee, 1995
Photographs and Media
Box Folder
9 9 "Bergstrom Air Force Base History, 1958" (3-ring binder) - black-and-white and color photographs (#962-985), 1941-1968
Location Location
Outer Vault Color negatives drawer "Bergstrom Air Force Base History, 1958" (3-ring binder) - color slides, 1941-1968
Box Folder
9 10 Braniff flight boarding - black-and-white photographs (#986), 1961
11 ABIA Groundbreaking Ceremony, ribbon cutting - color photographs (#987-988), 1994
Location Location
Outer Vault Color negatives drawer ABIA Groundbreaking Ceremony, ribbon cutting - color negatives, 1994
Box Folder
9 12 President Clinton visit - color photographs (#989-992), 1999
Location Location
Outer Vault Color negatives drawer President Clinton visit - color negatives, 1999
Box Folder
9 13 Last flight departing from Robert Mueller - color photograph (#993), 1999 May 22
14 ABIA Grand Opening - color photographs (#994-997), 1999
15 First flight departing from ABIA - color photographs (#998-999), 1999 May 23
16 American Strike - black-and-white photographs (#1000-1001, undated
Location Location
Outer Vault Color negatives drawer American Strike - color negatives, undated
Box Folder
9 17 Airport relocating protest - black-and-white photographs (#1002-1005), undated
18 Bergstrom Air Force Base - Duplex moving - color photographs (#1006-1015), undated
Location Location
Outer Vault Color negatives drawer Bergstrom Air Force Base - Duplex moving - color negatives, undated
Color negatives drawer Bergstrom Air Force Base - Duplex moving - color slide, undated
Box Folder
9 19 Construction - color photographs, undated
20 Black History at Capitol steps - color photographs (#1016-1021), undated
Box
12 Ronney Reynolds Call-In "The Airport" videocassette, 11 August 1993
ABIA - Stan Evans videocassette, 1997
ABIA Logo videocassette, 1998
"Name the Airport" story from Monday Night Live videocassette, undated
Bergstrom Buildings auction videocassette, undated
Location Box
Artifacts 121 Assorted artifacts, circa 1980s-1999



II. Oversight, 1991-1997

Aviation Subcommittee, 1991-1992
Box Folder
10 1-5 Meetings, 1991-1992
Austin City Council, 1993-1997
Box Folder
11 1-3 Special Called Meetings, 1993 January-July
4-6 Work Sessions, 1993-1997