Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Revamped Granbury Airport wins state award

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Granbury city officials and city staff are celebrating the Granbury Regional Airport being named “Most Improved Airport of the Year” for 2023 at TxDOT Aviation Division’s 41st Texas Aviation Conference.

The conference, sponsored by the Texas Department of Transportation and coordinated by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, was held April 12-14 at the Moody Gardens Hotel in Galveston.

A video created by TxDOT about Granbury’s years-long airport expansion effort was shown at Tuesday night’s regular City Council meeting. It was followed by comments from City Manager Chris Coffman commending those involved in the project, which is expected to be a major economic boon to the city.

Coffman thanked the City Council for its ongoing financial support to bring the project to fruition. The panel has changed during the years since efforts to expand the airport first got underway about 17 years ago, with the council unanimously voting to move forward in 2016.

The city paid half of the $32 million cost for the expansion and grant funds from TxDOT’s Aviation Division paid the other half.

Last November, the city commissioned the new runway, which is 5,200 feet long and 75 feet wide. It replaces the 3,600-foot-long runway that was the shortest among similar airports in the western Dallas-Fort Worth air space. Because the runway was so short, it was unable to safely accommodate business jets. With the larger runway now in use, the old runway is being used as a taxiway.

The city is in the process of building a new terminal building that will look similar to its new police station. The City Council has not yet decided on a use for the existing terminal building.

In his remarks at the council meeting, Coffman noted the contributions of Deputy City Manager Michael Ross and Aviation Director Pat Stewart, as well as the city’s Airport Board and KSA Engineering. He indicated that engineer Joseph Garcia, who does not work exclusively for KSA, was instrumental in saving the city a considerable amount of money.

Coffman said that two dozen box hangars are scheduled to be built and 15 acres will be developed for flight maintenance facilities for jet service.

“The demand for our airport is growing faster than we anticipated in the Master Plan,” Stewart said.

Speaking to the Hood County News by phone Wednesday, Stewart said that he was present at the conference where the award was announced and that he attends it every year. He noted that the airport expansion project was a group effort.

“It took a whole team of people for this thing to be successful,” he said.

The TxDOT video can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3B148ydViKY