The City of Fort Worth says commercial air service at Meacham International Airport is imminent in the next two years, with Frontier and Allegiant airlines among those interested.
“The airlines would like to start in the next six months, but realistically I’d expect we are a year and a half to two years out. We have a lot of work to do,” said William Welstead, director of Fort Worth’s Airport System.
The airport last had commercial airline service in 1998. Until 2014, the Wright Amendment limited commercial service at airports other than Dallas/Fort Worth International in an effort to solidify the airport in the region. But with the amendment's repeal, the City of Fort Worth said interest in Meacham has exploded.
“It’s almost like an awakening of, 'Oh, you know, we can operate out of Fort Worth now,” Welstead said. “They’re (airlines) aggressive about it, we are not actually seeking their business they are coming to us.”
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Welstead said the biggest challenge facing Meacham is available space and facilities and parking will need to be constructed before service can begin.
“We’d probably build a temporary facility, with parking right next to that facility so we could make it the best customer service experience,” Welstead said.
In neighborhoods in the airport's flight path, some residents expressed concern over added noise.
“I think it’s going to be worse. I definitely wouldn’t be prepared for it,” Aleijandra Brown, a resident said.
Others who live in the airport's flight path said they’re excited the area is growing and look forward to using the airport.
“My youngest daughter and son-in-law live in Las Vegas, and if I could get in here that would be great,” David Adams, a resident said.
The City of Fort Worth said among the top three destinations that could be served from Meacham are Orlando, Las Vegas and Houston. City officials believe the airport could eventually support over 50-commercial flights every day.