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

October 14th, 2009
City breaks ground on airport tower

An artist’s rendering of the oncoming traffic control tower at the San Marcos Municipal Airport. Graphic provided by the City of San Marcos.


San Marcos officials broke ground on a new $2.2 million control tower at the San Marcos Municipal Airport Wednesday afternoon.

The Central Texas wing of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) marked the ground breaking with a flyover of World War II aircraft preserved at the CAF museum located at the airport. The 1,350-acre air field first opened during World War II as a training base for the U.S. Army Air Corps.

The nine-story control tower, which will include 2,295 square feet, will house a base building, an elevator, and a control cab where professional air traffic controllers will manage flights into and out of the reliever airport. The tower is expected to open some time in 2010.

The tower will be part of the Federal Contract Tower Program and staffed by four to six civilian Air Traffic Controllers.

“This project represents the leading edge of several initiatives to advance our airport,” San Marcos Mayor Susan Narvaiz said.

The $2.2 million project will be built by Zapalac/ Reed Construction of Austin and is expected to be completed in the spring and operational in the summer of 2010 following FAA certification. In the next 12 to 18 months, $8 million in federal, state, local and private funds will be invested at San Marcos Municipal Airport.

“We are also moving forward on the North Side development, which will create a new front door to the airport and provide executive hangars, new utilities and new apron areas for aircraft,” said Narvaiz, referring to a $10 million project.

Staffing levels at the tower will be determined by the FAA and the contracted agency based on factors including traffic volumes and daily patterns of activity. Salaries for the controllers will be paid by the FAA.

The airport tower is expected to make for safer air operations at the reliever airport, which serves as home base for more than 200 aircraft, the Central Texas Wing of the Commemorative Air Force, 12  airport businesses and hundreds of transient flights each month.

Speakers at the ground breaking included Narvaiz, City Manager Rick Menchaca and Chuck Nash, Chair of the Airport Commission.

The San Marcos Municipal Airport is located on Highway 21 adjacent to Gary Job Corps Center, which also was created out of the original air base in 1965.

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