The FAA today granted $500,000 to the Texas Department of Transportation to plan a new general aviation airport in central Texas. The grant is a key step in AOPA efforts to obtain a new general aviation facility to replace capacity lost when the city of Austin closed Austin-Mueller Airport in 1999.
"There has been inadequate service for general aviation in the Austin area ever since the closures of Austin-Mueller and Austin Executive airports," said Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president of regional affairs. "Austin-Bergstrom Airport hasn't provided the GA facilities needed. Now central Texas pilots can see that they will finally get a new airport and reasonable transportation access to the state's capital."
AOPA, with the support of its members in Texas, was instrumental in securing the passage of Texas House Bill 2522. That bill, signed into law by Governor Rick Perry last June, directs the state to build a new airport in central Texas.
And AOPA worked with the FAA to help Texas secure the $500,000 Airport Improvement Program grant to begin the process.
Progress has already begun. AOPA's Dunn was invited to the Texas capital this week to help the state review and evaluate seven proposals for the planning and design of the new airport.
Planning and design work could take up to two years to complete.