Austin Considering $5.5M Airport Extensions For F1
Facing concerns that "the customs and immigration facility" at Austin-Bergstrom Int'l is not big enough to handle the potential F1 charter flights, the U.S. city of Austin "could spend almost $5.5M on a temporary facility under a no-bid contract coming before the City Council on Thursday," according to Ben Wear of the STATESMAN. Organizers of the race will not be asked by the city to pay for the customs facility and airport extension. The argument being that "efficient processing of travelers will help burnish the city's int'l image." Former Travis County Judge Bill Aleshire, "who has been critical of local and state government spending" to support the F1 weekend, said that it is an "investment tied directly to a single private event." He added: "That blows up the City Council's claim that they weren't putting any city money into the F1 deal. Now, the City is going to spend over $5M on immigration processing of rich foreign visitors to the four-day F1 event" (STATESMAN, 6/26).