TABLE OF CONTENTS
Citizens for Airport Relocation and Airport Neighborhoods Environmental Defense Association Records
An Inventory of the Collection
In the mid-1970s the City of Austin started examining the problems with the Mueller Municipal Airport in Austin, Texas. Complaints about the Mueller Municipal Airport included: it was too small given the increase in population and would be inadequate by 1995; too dangerous because the short runways and residential nature of the neighborhood; and too noisy. Initial new locations included the joint use of the Bergstrom Air Force Base (AFB) and Manor, Texas. In 1976 joint use of Bergstrom AFB was denied and the Manor location was suggested but no action was taken. Again in the mid-1980s studies was conducted and both relocation and expansion of the current airport were examined and in 1984 the Airport Advisory Task Force recommended exploring relocation options. In 1985 voters rejected a non-binding referendum question on moving the airport by a small margin. The question came up again in 1987 because of the Federal Aviation Administration asked the City Council to reexamine relocation and suggested that they might be required to restrict the number of flights into Austin in the future because of conflicts with Bergstrom AFB. On November 3, 1987, City Council put forth two ballot propositions: Proposition 1 to construct a new airport on U.S. 209 just east of Manor and Proposition 2 to expand the current airport terminal and reorient the runways as to not conflict with Bergstrom AFB. Austin voters approved Proposition 1 to build a new airport and make interim improvements to Mueller. Work on the New Austin Municipal Airport at Manor master plan began despite the Sierra Club filing a lawsuit opposing the Manor site. In January 1990, during the final stages of completion of the Manor master plan, the U.S. Secretary of Defense announced that Bergstrom AFB was on a list of bases being studied for possible closure by 1993. On February 15, 1990, the Austin City Council authorized a study to investigate the feasibility of establishing a commercial airport at Bergstrom and halted land purchases in Manor. Later in 1990 it was determined that Bergstrom AFB would close and in 1991 the City decided to move the airport to Bergstrom AFB. On May 1, 1993, the issue was on the ballot one last time with Proposition 1 that asked should the Austin City Council be authorized to issue bonds to construct the new airport at Bergstrom AFB and close Mueller. Voters voted for the proposition with 63% approval. Mueller was closed to passenger service on May 22, 1999 and Austin Bergstrom International Airport opened the next day.
Expanding or relocating the municipal airport was a highly contested issue during the 1980s and 1990s in Austin and several citizen groups and task forces formed to advocate that the Mueller Municipal Airport be moved out of East Austin. Two of these groups were Citizens for Airport Relocation (CARE) and Airport Neighborhoods Environmental Defense Association (ANEDA). CARE organized in 1983 when a report proposed possible Mueller Municipal Airport expansion into the Windsor Park neighborhood. The group was active leading up to the 1985 airport vote in which voters failed to approve the relocation of the airport. When the airport relocation debate resurfaced again in 1986 CARE became active again. CARE was joined by other organizations such as the United East Austin Coalition and a citywide Move It! Committee and supported by the Austin Neighborhood Council, Save Austin's Neighborhoods and Environment and the Austin Chamber of Commerce in its efforts to encourage Austin residents to vote to move the airport to Manor. After the successful outcome of the Proposition 1 vote the group continued to lobby City Council to move forward with the work required to acquire the land and the develop a master plan for the airport. In 1990 when City Council began considering Bergstrom AFB as an alternative to Manor the group continued to advocate for Manor stating that the move to Bergstrom would cause the same problems for southeastern Travis County as it already did for Northeast Austin and considered the Bergstrom option as a "stall tactic." Once the plan to relocate the airport was finalized CARE focused on the environmental issues of Mueller and plans for redevelopment, endorsing a plan for a midtown village of residential and commercial development. The group pushed for dense development, seeing the airport land as an opportunity to combat sprawl.
Airport Neighborhoods Environmental Defense Association (ANEDA) was incorporated as a non-profit corporation in April, 1990 after the City halted plans to relocate the municipal airport to Manor while studying the feasibility of the Bergstrom Air Force Base. Membership included people that lived near Mueller Municipal Airport, some of whom were members of CARE, who felt that "the human cost of Robert Mueller need to be given a dollar signs so that these are not invisible to those who sit on City Council." Attorney Steven Adler filed a lawsuit in 1990 on behalf of five of the members against the City of Austin charging that jet noise was violating the noise abatement law passed in 1989. The lawsuit was ongoing until 1993 when voters authorized moving the airport to the Bergstrom site, at which point the group requested their attorney to take no further action. The group felt that the lawsuit served a useful purpose, reminding City officials of the costs associated with failing to relocate the airport, but with airport relocation efforts underway it seemed appropriate to dismiss the lawsuit.
The Citizens for Airport Relocation and Airport Neighborhoods Environmental Defense Association Records are a combination of materials maintained by two members of both organizations dated from 1987 to 1998 with the majority of the materials dating from 1987 to 1993. Airport Neighborhoods Environmental Defense Association (ANEDA) organizational and administrative records include bylaws, membership lists, meeting minutes, newsletters that include meeting agendas, internal memorandum, and financial records. Additional ANEDA materials include records related to the lawsuit filed such as petitions, participation agreements, attorney fee contract, court documents, correspondence with Barron, Graham and Adler and updates sent to members. Citizens for Airport Relocation (CARE) records include membership lists, meeting agendas and minutes and distributed updates.
In addition there are materials that provide context for the entire debate including newspaper clippings about the 1993 ballot proposition, research on the effects of aircraft noise, the petition of reconsideration filed by the Manor Area Neighbors Association and Sierra Club in response to the Federal Aviation Administration's findings of no significant impact to operate an airport in Manor, reports and fact sheets distributed by the City of Austin regarding the Mueller Municipal Airport and Bergstrom AFB and a binder titled "Airport Activism 1980s" that includes press coverage of CARE and the Move It! campaign as well as examples of the fliers, door hangers, and mailers the group distributed.
Open to all users
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.
Materials donated by two members of Citizens for Airport Relocation and Airport Neighborhoods Environmental Defense Association.
Citizens for Airport Relocation and Airport Neighborhoods Environmental Defense Association Records (AR.2017.024). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/2017/060
Donation Date: 2017
Donor #: DO/2004/170
Donation Date: 204
Collection processed and finding aid encoded by Molly Hults in 2017. All the materials were originally housed in 2 three-ring binder. Materials were removed and foldered in original order.