Denton's Municipal Airport is growing. The Federal Aviation Administration recently signed off on plans to add a second runway. The implications could go far beyond just the airport – the tenth busiest in Texas.
Construction on the new runway could begin by late September.
“It's a project that's been a long time in the making,” said Scott Gray, airport manager.
Gray said he first proposed the idea to add a second runway in 1994, when he worked as an airport planner. Gray said safety was the biggest reason then, and remains so now.
“It allows our air traffic controllers to separate the faster and slower airplanes,” he said.
Safety isn't the only benefit. Denton's airport, built in 1943, averages nearly 400 flights a day and 140,000 per year. A second runway will allow that to expand.
“It just means less delays,” said Gray. “Which enhances our economic development capabilities to attract new businesses."
Though small, Denton's airport can handle planes as big as 737's. The expansion will allow more corporate-type jets to take off and land. The airport already handles large cargo planes for local companies, including Peterbilt.
“On the north side of the Metroplex things keep growing in this direction,” Gray said. “We are getting a lot of inquiries from corporations either interested in relocating to the Dallas market or expanding."
Several months ago, Amazon Air inquired about Denton's airport. Dallas is hoping to land Amazon's prized HQ2.
Denton is ready to help.
“It still may end up in the Dallas market. They're still in the running,” he said. “And we'd be happy to facilitate anything we could here for them as well."