Friday, February 5, 2021

News from

City of Austin - News and Events
News from the City of Austin, Texas

New podcast takes off from Austin-Bergstrom

Feb 04, 2021 04:24 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes to keep an airport running during a global pandemic? Where's the best place to watch planes arriving into Austin? And where can you find the best burger inside the Barbara Jordan Terminal?

These are just a few of the questions to be tackled in Austin-Bergstrom International Airport's new podcast, The Austin Approach.

"The Austin Approach will be an accessible look into the operations, culture and events at our airport," said Gina Fiandaca, the City of Austin's Assistant City Manager for Mobility. "We look forward to giving Austin residents a behind-the-scenes view into their airport and the critical role it plays in our economy and transportation network."

Launching on February 4, the podcast will offer listeners a look into all things Austin-Bergstrom, featuring interviews with airport staff, news and updates from around the campus, and insider stories about airport life.

Co-hosted by members of the airport's Performance Management and Public Information & Marketing teams, new episodes will be released twice each month and will be available on all major podcast streaming platforms, as well as on the AUS website. Episodes will be approximately 30 minutes in length – perfect for a commute or while waiting at the gate for a flight.

"As passenger confidence continues to grow throughout 2021, we anticipate increased demand in air service at AUS," said Jacqueline Yaft, Chief Executive Officer. "The Austin Approach is a great way to reintroduce travelers to their Austin airport, and hear from the AUS team members who work hard to keep the airport safe and operational."

Episode one is now available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other major podcast streaming platforms. In this episode, listeners will meet the co-hosts, learn about the airport's new Whataburger location, and hear from Airport Operations Chief, Towanda Cordon, about the impacts of COVID-19.

Original music for The Austin Approach was written and recorded by AUS Music Program Coordinator, Michael Pennock.


About Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Owned and operated by the City of Austin, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) is the second-fastest growing, mid-sized airport in the United States. Austin-Bergstrom is also an economic engine in Central Texas, supplying over 74,000 direct and indirect jobs in the Central Texas region. Its reflection of local food, music, art, and customer service has earned AUS recognition—including Runner-Up for Best Airport in the Wall Street Journal's Best U.S. Airports 2019.

First Case of UK COVID-19 Variant Confirmed in Austin-Travis County

Feb 03, 2021 06:28 pm

Austin, Texas – Today, Austin Public Health (APH) has learned that the first case of the B.1.1.7 (UK) variant of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Austin-Travis County. The variant was discovered and confirmed through lab testing by a private local testing organization and was reported to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).  

"While it is concerning that there is a confirmed COVID-19 variant in Austin-Travis County, it does not come as a surprise," said APH Director Stephanie Hayden-Howard. "It is important to remember that these COVID-19 variants spread the same way, and so it is important to continue the prevention measures we have been using for almost a year. People need to keep wearing a mask, social distancing, avoiding gatherings, and washing your hands frequently." 

COVID-19 variants have been likely in Austin-Travis County for weeks, after a Harris County man with no history of travel was discovered to have a variant. APH lab testing will detect the coronavirus, but at this time, extended lab testing is required to determine the variant strains under the coronavirus umbrella at this time. 

"It is common for viruses to mutate, especially when the original virus is in the community longer. Based on everything we have heard from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while the variants are potentially more contagious than the original virus, they are not more deadly," said Dr. Mark Escott, Interim Austin-Travis Health Authority. "From our understanding, currently approved vaccines are effective against the variants, and while this may be a reason to reemphasize the importance of prevention measures, it is not cause for alarm."  

At this time, not all labs have the capabilities to test for the variants which is why data presented on the COVID-19 dashboards will not be distinguished by variant.  

For more information about COVID-19, visit