Runway re-do boosts North Texas Regional Airport - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Runway re-do boosts North Texas Regional Airport

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A revamped runway at North Texas Regional Airport will pay for itself, officials said. (KTEN) A revamped runway at North Texas Regional Airport will pay for itself, officials said. (KTEN)
Future plans call for repaving an older section of a 9,000 foot runway at North Texas Regional Airport. (KTEN) Future plans call for repaving an older section of a 9,000 foot runway at North Texas Regional Airport. (KTEN)

GRAYSON COUNTY, Texas -- North Texas Regional Airport opened a revamped runway on Thursday morning.  County and airport officials said it paves the way forward in more ways than one.

Grayson County Judge Bill Magers said the former military airfield currently sees about 100,000 operations a year, so the upgrade essentially pays for itself.

"For the first time since 1971, we now have two runways in operation," he said. 

Grayson County teamed up with NTRA and the Texas Department of Transportation a year-and-a-half ago with one goal in mind: To revive part of a runway.

"I think the timing is just right," said airport director Bob Torti. "The traffic has increased drastically at the airport over the last year or so."

The longer runway will be used for larger aircraft and jets; the newly refurbished runway will be primarily for student pilots at US Aviation Academy.

"It's just good customer service for our jet aircraft and our larger aircraft so we don't slow them down," Torti said. "It's a cost item for them, you know, if they have to wait 10 to 15 minutes to take off;  that's quite a bit of money."

The joint project repaved 4,000 feet of the 9,000-foot runway.

"Nine-thousand-foot runways, there's not a lot of them, so that's a plus for us," said Robert Brady of the Regional Mobility Authority.

Additional air traffic will push forward the county's initiative to finalize plans for the airport to get into a federal control tower program.

"We now have two runways, so the need for a tower is greater," Magers said.

The total price tag on this project was $70,000; Grayson County funded $45,000 of that total, and the rest was paid with a grant.

"The airport does about $1 million of revenue a year, so if we move the needle 10 percent, this thing pays for itself in one year," Magers said.

Airport staff said it's possible they could also refurbish the remainder of the 9,000 foot runway, but that is a project for the future.

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