The Lancaster Airport at the southern edge of the Dallas area is revving up to become the next North Texas cargo and business destination.
The airport on Beltline Road at Ferris Road is surrounded by vacant land intended for future industrial growth.
"It’s ideal compared to a lot of airports that have gone through the encroachment they’re burdened with at this time, to where they can’t grow," said Arb Rylant, manager of Lancaster Airport.
The Lancaster Airport is being marketed as a key feature of the adjacent Dallas Logistics Hub development.
"It kind of puts the cherry on top of the sundae, if you will," said Dan McAuliffe, of the Logistics Hub.
McAuliffe said he expects most companies moving to the large merchandise-handling development will be focused on rail transportation.
A Union Pacific cargo terminal is already open on the east side of the Logistics Hub along Interstate 45, straddling the border of Wilmer and Hutchins.
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"The airport will be a complement to their business, whether it’s through corporate aircraft, whether it's through air cargo or other types of business," McAuliffe said.
"We’re just trying to figure out how we play with the new logistics development around the airport," said Rylant about the Lancaster study.
Improvements could include a new and longer runway, instrument controls, a control tower, a new terminal and new access roads.
John Wiley Price, the Dallas County commissioner for the area, insists planning for the massive industrial development has been inadequate -- and said the airport plan is an example.
"You cannot develop that in a silo," Price said. "I support Lancaster, but it's got to be part of a comprehensive plan."
Price said water, sewer and road service must be provided for the entire development area, some of which is unincorporated Dallas County.
McAuliffe said his firm has spent three years and millions of dollars on planning with all the cities in his project.
"And that has involved not just our engineers and our ideas, but extensive meetings and planning sessions with each of the individual cities," he said.
A meeting was scheduled Thursday night in Lancaster to take public comment on airport expansion plans.
Learn more about the Lancaster Airport and the Logistics Hub at:
The privately developed Logistics Hub is part of an even larger area the City of Dallas calls the Inland Port of Dallas: http://www.dallas-ecodev.org/inland_port.html.