Grayson County airport tower qualifies for federal program - - Texoma news, weather and sports

Grayson County airport tower qualifies for federal program

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Control tower at North Texas Regional Airport. (KTEN) Control tower at North Texas Regional Airport. (KTEN)

SHERMAN, Texas -- North Texas Regional Airport has been accepted as a candidate to change the way its control tower is managed.

Currently, Grayson County spends about $300,000 a year to staff the tower, but it's been trying for the last six years to shift that operation to the Federal Aviation Administration's Contract Tower Program, which provides services for more than 250 small airports in 46 states.

Grayson County Commissioners learned Tuesday that the NTRA tower has been accepted into the program, thanks to funds appropriated in the omnibus federal spending bill that was passed by Congress and signed by President Trump last month.

"It's always been a deserving airport, but we were finally able to get it to the status we needed for admittance into the program," said Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-District 4). "North Texas originally applied to get into the federal program in 2012, so this has been a very long road and sort of cutting through the Washington bureaucracy."

County Judge Bill Magers said the program will let the airport expand hours and operations.

"The bigger picture is, you know, moving from a minor league airport to a major league airport," he said. "So people who wouldn't give you the time of day before are now going to consider our airport."

Magers said county officials will be moving as quickly as possible to get the Contract Tower Program up and running.

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