By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun
The Texas Department of Transportation commission agreed Thursday morning to give more than half a million to the Corsicana airport to build a new hangar.
And although the new hangar space will be welcomed, it will be filled before it’s even built.
The state granted the city $550,000 for the hangar. The city’s portion will be $55,000. The city council had already approved the matching funds in the current year’s budget.
The hangar will allow for up to four new tenants at the field in a new hangar similar to the ones currently at C. David Campbell Field at an airport desperate for new safe wing spaces.
“It’ll be almost identical to the last one we built,” said Terry Franks, public works director. “We have people on the waiting list. These are local people, and people who have relocated here and are looking for a place to hangar their planes. Some are people who have lived here all their lives. Some people share a hangar now and want to venture out and get their own hangar.”
The new hangar, which likely won’t start construction for at least a year, and may take longer than that to complete, will be 50 feet by 270 feet long, and divided into four equal parts.
Gary Farley, who operates the field for the city, and is a member of the airport board, said the airport could easily rent out three times as many hangar spaces, if the city could afford to build them.
“Any development out here is good, I’m really pleased we’re going to do something,” Farley said. “We could build a dozen or more hangars and be filled up pretty quickly.
“The fact that we got the grant is always a plus,” Farley added. “Any kind of construction going forward at the airport is a positive thing.”
Despite the recent recession, Farley said the airport is growing nicely now.
“It’s really growing quickly,” he said. “We’ve seen an increase in flight training and in my maintenance business it’s the busiest it’s been since 1996.”
The next step for the city will be selecting a consultant, which will be done this winter. Once the engineering and design are done, then the city will put it out for bid, Franks said.
“I’m going to say it will probably be a year from now before it even starts construction,” he said.
The city already has the money to match the state grant, according to Franks.
“It was planned to have the cash if it did get approval, then we would be ready,” he said.
The state’s portion of the money is coming from the TxDOT Aviation Facilities Grant Program. This year, TxDOT will provide about $60 million in funding for planning, constructing and maintaining community airports. Some 275 community airports in Texas are eligible for funding.
Arrivals and departures from community airports account for more than three million flight hours per year and provide aircraft facilities for agricultural, medical, business and commuter use.
Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at email@example.com. Want to “sound off” to this article? E-mail: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com