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

December 5th, 2008
New manager says San Marcos airport ready for take-off

New San Marcos Airport Manager Scott Gallagher addresses members of the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce.By BILL PETERSON
Editor at Large

Significant upgrades are still in the works for the San Marcos Municipal Airport, according to the facility’s manager.

Scott Gallagher, who manages the airport, told members of the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce at Thursday morning’s “Eggs and Issues” breakfast that plans include fencing for the airport, a control tower and a executive-level hangar development on the airport’s north side.

In the past year, Gallagher said, the airport has seen a $1 million resurfacing of the north-south runway and a concrete apron rehabilitation for $1.275 million to enhance the facility’s parking and tie-down space.

“In 2009, we have a tower,” Gallagher said. “In 2010, we have a fence line. These are the two major barriers to our development, in my opinion.”

Gallagher said the airport’s location east of the city on SH 21 near Interstate-35 makes it an attractive flight destination for executives in private planes who want to do business in Austin or San Antonio.

“Executives fly in and out of our airport for a reason,” Gallagher said. “They can get in and out.”

It remains, however, that the airport isn’t getting all of the executive business that it can. Gallagher said a $2 million tower that’s in the works should create more traffic.

“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.”

Gallagher added that he would like developers to step forward with ideas or proposals for an executive facility on the airport’s north side. Gallagher said he envisions an $11 million facility that can provide a level of service expected by executive flyers, including private plane hangars and conference rooms.

The airport manager said he can receive 90-10 matching money from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), meaning the state would match every dollar he raises with $9. However, Gallagher said, he needs developers to step forward because “I need to be able to show substantial interest in the north-side project.”

Gallagher is new to the job, taking over as the airport manager in July. Gallagher said he recently counted 200 aircraft at the airport.

However, he said, the combination of recent upgrades and plans for a tower and executive facility could significantly raise the airport’s profile.

“We have this set up and staged to really grow in the next three to five years,” he said.

The San Marcos Municipal Airport has three runways, each more than a mile long, as well as fueling facilities, daylight operating hours every day of the year and a terminal. It serves a range of aircraft from executive jets to small private planes.

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