San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

October 12th, 2009
Airport to break ground on control tower

The San Marcos Municipal Airport (right) will have a control tower in operation before the end of next summer.

STAFF REPORT

San Marcos officials will join state and federal officials Wednesday as the San Marcos Municipal Airport breaks ground on a control tower.

Airport General Manager Scott Gallagher began campaigning for a traffic control tower shortly after taking the position in July 2008. Last December, Gallagher told the San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce that a $2 million control tower would make the local airport much more attractive for executives doing business in Austin and San Antonio.

“If we have a tower at our airport, it opens a lot of possibilities for people flying in and out,” Gallagher said. “… Some businesses don’t let people fly to uncontrolled airports.”

The nine-story control tower will include 2,295 square feet, including a base building, elevator and control cab where professional air traffic controllers will manage flights in and out of the reliever airport.

The $2.2 million project will be built by Zapalak/ Reed Construction of Austin. It is expected to be completed and operational in the summer of 2010.

In February, Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin) announced $2.85 million in federal funding for the San Marcos airport. The total in federal appropriations for the airport has reached $4.825 million in the last two years.

In 2008, the airport resurfaced its north-south runway for $1 million and spent another $1.275 million for a concrete apron rehabilitation to improve parking and tie-down space.

Gallagher is trying to find $10 million for a facility on the airport’s north side that can provide services for executive flyers, including private hangars and conference rooms.

The groundbreaking will take place Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.

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0 thoughts on “Airport to break ground on control tower

  1. This is a nice improvement and hangars would be great. There are quite a few reports out there, which show significant local economic benefit from municipal airports.

    I’m not sure if any studies have been done regarding ours, or its potential, but it would be interesting to see them, if they are out there.

  2. I too would like to see an objective study of the impact and cost of the airport. I do not understand how it could pay off the investment, and I don’t understand why executives would fly here to then drive 30-60 minutes to get wherever they are really going. On the drive, they would pass two or three more convenient airports.

    Pork is something voters complain about when other people get it but eat up when it comes home. This is not a windfall, because we are federal taxpayers too. It is unlikely we are getting a disproportionate share of federal dollars; instead, every community is likely getting federal dollars for projects so wasteful local taxpayers would never fund them.

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