Texas granted $500K for new genav airport

 - May 6, 2008, 6:59 AM

Central Texas, near the capital city of Austin, may yet get the general aviation airport it has so desperately needed for the past several years. When Austin (Texas) Mueller Airport gave way to the new Austin Bergstrom International Airport in April 1999, general aviation was not granted nearly the same footprint it had enjoyed at the old, now-closed field. To boot, GA reliever Austin Executive Airport, just north of town, was hemmed in by a new road built to serve computer manufacturing facilities that have progressively sprouted around the region, covering huge tracts of previously sparse land. Within months of the road being built, the owners of Austin Executive Airport said that, without a promised ILS (precluded by the road), the airport was not viable enough to justify the investment. They sold the land to developers and the airport closed.

Then last month, the FAA granted half a million dollars to the Texas Department of Transportation to put toward a new GA airport in the Austin area. According to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, which helped secure the funding from the federal Airport Improvement Program coffers, there are seven proposals being evaluated by the state. A definitive plan for the new airport could take up to two years to develop.