Austin-Bergstrom International Airport will allow Uber to operate during SXSW


Just three days after Austin-Bergstrom International Airport officials said Uber drivers were banned from operating at the airport, city officials reversed the ban on a short-term basis that will include all of South By Southwest.

On March 10, Austin-Bergstrom officials announced Uber would not be allowed to operate on airport premises because the company had declined a profit-sharing agreement. The airport had offered a deal to Uber which would have allowed Uber drivers to operate on airport premises, but that also required that Uber give 10 percent of its gross revenue earned to the airport, airport spokesman Jim Halbrook said.

“We offered both Lyft and Uber the same deal,” Halbrook said. “Lyft accepted it, and Uber has declined.”

At the time, Halbrook said there was little chance Uber would be able to resolve the dispute before SXSW, when thousands of visitors fly in through Austin-Bergstrom to attend the event.

“If they come back with something, we could potentially continue to [negotiate],” Halbrook said to the Texan on Tuesday. “We’ve kind of got what we want and how we like to do it.”

Still, on Friday, city officials from the Department of Aviation said the airport had agreed to permit Uber drivers to operate — at least for a few weeks.

“The ridesharing companies have reached an agreement ... to operate at the airport for a temporary period, not to exceed 45 days, until a long-term agreement can be reached between parties,” city officials wrote in a press release.

Last year, more than 50,000 people from over 82 countries formally registered for SXSW, event planners said.