Grayson County control tower awaits federal funding - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Grayson County control tower awaits federal funding

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KTEN KTEN

GRAYSON COUNTY, Texas -- Grayson County has been working to improve North Texas Regional Airport and to open up an older runway at the former military base.

But the fight to get the federal government to pay for operating the airport's control tower continues. 

"Grayson County is investing in this tower," County Judge Bill Magers said. "We are hoping the federal government will do their part and take it off our hands as an FAA tower, and that's what we're working on."

Grayson County Commissioners on Tuesday approved the airport's budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The county says that with help from people like Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-4th District), they're hoping to get the tower into the federal program by 2019.

"We are the only airport in the United States that fully funds its control tower," Magers said.

Military veteran Mack Ream is the new traffic control manager for the NTRA tower. His primary job is to keep everything and everyone safe.

"North Texas Regional Airport does not have a radar screen in the tower," he said. "Everything that the controllers here are doing is based off of memory and writing down."

Ream said between 60 and 360 flights take off and land here every day. "I don't believe air traffic is stressful if you have a good group of people you're working with or working for," he said.

Grayson County taxpayers will also benefit by shifting the control tower costs to the FAA. The operation is a $275,000 annual line item in the county budget.

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