The San Marcos City Council has approved an agreement for the management and development of the San Marcos Municipal Airport with Texas Aviation Partners, LLC.
While the city will retain ownership of the airport itself, Texas Aviation Partners (TAP) will manage a turn-key operation including maintenance and any minor repairs, administration, development and redevelopment.
“The San Marcos Municipal Airport is one of the top assets in the city’s portfolio, since it serves as a regional reliever airport and as a hub in Central Texas for general aviation,” said Mayor Susan Narvaiz. “We look forward to working with Texas Aviation Partners in helping our airport and its businesses realize their potential for regional service, growth and job creation.”
The agreement was approved unanimously at the Sept. 21 city council meeting after a unanimous recommendation by the Airport Commission. The five year agreement is renewable for four additional five year extensions. The contract calls for a $285,000 annual payment plus two revenue sharing options in which Texas Aviation Partners would receive 25 percent of additional revenue gained at the airport.
The Airport Commission will continue its role as an advisory board to the city council, which will approve ground leases and economic development incentives. TAP will submit annual budgets similar to other city departments and will maintain an office at the airport.
Stephen Alexander, a shareholder of Texas Aviation Partners and the selected on-site manager, was pleased with the decision and the final contract, pointing out that it balanced the needs of both parties.
“The council will make all major decisions regarding leases, rates, projects and development,” Alexander said. “We look forward to acting faithfully on behalf of the city and believe this partnership will foster economic growth within the San Marcos community and surrounding areas.”
Alexander is one of three partners in the company along with Jim Parker, Darin Davis and Jim Wimberly, a former Chief Operating Office of Southwest Airlines.
The agreement between the city and Texas Aviation Partners coincides with the completion of a nine-story air traffic control tower, a $2.2 million project. The Federal Aviation Administration will provide staff for the tower, which will direct both ground and air traffic. The city dedicated the tower on Oct. 9.
The San Marcos Municipal Airport occupies 1,350 acres along Texas 21 in Caldwell County. Originally part of Gary Air Field, a World War II Army Air Corps training base, the airport was deeded to the city of San Marcos in 1965. Some 200 aircraft, 12 businesses employing more than 150 people, and the Central Texas Wing of the Commemorative Air Force are based at the airport.