More flights, big plans for Durant Regional Airport
DURANT, Okla. (KTEN) — Durant Regional Airport is buzzing with activity.
"Year-over-year takeoffs and landings here at Eaker Field have seen an increase between 15 and 20 percent... that's what the projection is for the end of 2022," said City of Durant spokesperson Kelli Simmons.
Simmons said there were about 60,000 takeoffs and landings in 2021; the city estimates there will be about 70,000 operations by the end of this year.
The city and the airport are working together to plan for future expansions. Currently, the city is adding spaces to the parking lot to keep up with the influx of flights.
Airport manager Josh Matekovic said they're also working on an automated weather observation system for pilots.
"It lets them know wind direction, wind speed, what the density altitude is for aircraft taking off... it lets them know if there's overcast skies," he explained.
Matekovic hopes the airport can expand its services in the future.
"I'd like to see this airport is to grow and hopefully down the road be able to offer charter service or possible commercial service," Matekovic said. "It's all dependent on how the airport grows itself and what the city wants to do with it, as well as what kind of financial backing we can get from the FAA."
A service expansion could prove beneficial to Texoma travelers.
"My nephew flies in all the time from Washington, and he has to go to Dallas or to Oklahoma City," said Durant resident and business owner Kristina Walker. She feels that development of the airport could help fuel growth.
"Well it would be wonderful to bring tourism," Walker said.