North Texas Daily

Denton airport getting new runway for $8.3 million

Denton airport getting new runway for $8.3 million

Denton airport getting new runway for $8.3 million
July 25
17:04 2018

The Denton Enterprise Airport is getting a second, smaller runway to run parallel to the existing one for $8.3 million. The runway is expected to be finished by July of next year.

The second runway is being built to meet increasing demand and separate larger aircrafts — used for corporate operations — from smaller ones, used for flight training.

The existing runway is 7,002 feet by 150 feet and the new runway will be 5,000 feet by 75 feet. This will provide a platform for smaller airplanes.

It is moving forward to enhance safety, separate the faster airplanes from the slower airplanes and to meet our current demand,” airport manager Scott Gray said.

State and federal funds are covering $5.9 million of the total cost while city match funds will cover the rest.

Brian Walker, general manager of Jet Center which provides hangar and office space for private airplanes and their pilots, said the second runway provides faster, easier access for larger aircrafts.

“I definitely think it is worth the investment with the extra options[it provides] and the more airplanes that can get in here quickly and easily,” Walker said.

Gray originally proposed the second runway idea in 1994 when he was an airport consultant working on the airport master plan. Planning for the project has taken place over the past 20 years.

However, there was not a demand for a second runway back then. Now the airport gets about 400 flights a day and 140,000 flights a year. There are also around 30 businesses doing aircraft sales and maintenance at the airport.

It was time for the Denton Enterprise Airport — which is home to over 300 private and business based aircraft – to expand.

“It took a while to build the demand here at this airport, and now the demand is certainly here and it’s still going to be growing, so this second runway will help with that in the future,” Gray said.

The Federal Aviation Administration approved an environmental assessment for the parallel runway, and now the Texas Department of Transportation put out a construction contract.

Construction is expected to start in October and be finished within nine months. Gray is confident the second runway will meet future demand and expects it will be the biggest and last major project for the airport.

It was revealed in April through an Open Records Request that Amazon Air inquired about Denton’s airport, which falls in line with Amazon’s search for a second headquarters location.

“[The runway project] was well underway long before that,” Gray said. “Neither [HQ2 or Amazon Air] are playing a part in this particular operation, but in the future, if we can do something for them then we will certainly try to see if we can facilitate that.”

Caroline Booth, director of economic development for the city of Denton, said the city having a municipal airport makes Denton different from several cities in the metroplex and the state. She continued to say it was helpful to include that the city has a growing airport in the metroplex proposal package sent to Amazon for its new headquarters location.

The second airport impacts Denton in other ways than Amazon possibilities. Booth said Denton has received an uptake on inquiries from aviation and aerospace businesses.

“Anything that is beneficial for the airport, ultimately, is beneficial for Denton,” Booth said.

Denton can gain capital investment from businesses located at the airport, and the city can sell fuel for aircrafts based at the airport. Booth could not see any downsides to the project and said it will impact Denton positively and make the airport safer.

“The Denton Enterprise Airport is a very safe airport already, but [the second runway] is just going to make it even better for people who are doing flight operations there,” Booth said.

Featured Image: The Denton Enterprise Airport is constructing a second runway in response to cooperate operations and different flight accelerations. The runway is 7,002 by 150 feet, and the new runway will be 5,000 by 75 feet. Dillon Montes

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Devin Rardin

Devin Rardin

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