BLOG: Growing San Antonio-Austin Metroplex Illustrates Need For Stronger Nonstop Service To Nation’s Capital

San Antonio and Austin, Texas are home to budding industry hubs that have seen massive spikes in population in recent years. However, the archaic perimeter rule, installed by Congress in the 1960s and limiting the number of flights that can take off or land at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) beyond an artificial 1,250-mile perimeter, has severely impacted Texans’ access to Washington, D.C. 

The need to modernize the perimeter rule and increase affordable access to and from Washington, D.C. has been made clear in publications throughout the Lone Star State.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has taken notice of this issue and recently held a press event in San Antonio on the need for greater access to Washington, D.C. Senator Cruz has also shown important leadership on the issue as the Ranking Republican on the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

Last week, Axios San Antonio published a piece highlighting the rapid population growth in the San Antonio-Austin Metroplex driving economic development throughout the region. The article predicts that it could become the next Dallas-Fort Worth. 

  • Jenna Saucedo-Herrera, president and CEO of greater: SATX, a Capital Access Alliance (CAA) member group, said, “The mega-region exists whether people think about it or not. It is already happening.”

Travel is one of the major challenges the region faces, according to Axios. Currently, just one direct flight operates daily between DCA and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), and there are no direct flights between DCA and San Antonio International Airport (SAT). 

On Sunday, Marc Anderson, president and CEO of Visit San Antonio, authored an op-ed in the San Antonio Express-News calling for the addition of a nonstop flight between SAT and DCA as part of the upcoming Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization bill. 

Anderson urged the entire Texas Congressional delegation to use this opportunity that comes just once every five years to increase affordable access to our nation’s capital, noting San Antonio‘s significant military presence, growing businesses focused on the cybersecurity sector and robust tourism industry.

Finally, Britney Rodriguez, chief operating officer for the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, wrote an op-ed in the Williamson County Sun explaining the need for improved direct access to the national capital region. She notes Austin’s robust technology sector, including the “Silicon Hills” and vibrant Hispanic community. Despite this, access to our nation’s capital lags and hurts the dialogue between business leaders, lawmakers and Austin’s tourism industry. 

As the San Antonio-Austin Metroplex continues to grow, ensuring ready access to the U.S. Capitol and the federal government will only become a greater priority. Thankfully, Texans recognize this and have called on Congress to add flights to and from DCA in the upcoming FAA Reauthorization bill.

Read the entire piece in Axios San Antonio HERE.

Read the entire op-ed by Marc Anderson in the San Antonio Express-News HERE.

Read the entire op-ed by Brittany Rodriguez in the Williamson County Sun HERE.  

About CAA

CAA consists of diverse members from around the country and various industries, including transportation, general business groups, the small business sector, entrepreneurs and job creators, organizations focused on economic development and leaders in the civic and policy communities. 

Learn more about Capital Access Alliance HERE.