A major project at Denton Municipal Airport more than two decades in the making will get underway this week when city leaders and airport officials break ground on a new airport runway.
Those who use the airport said it will alleviate issues caused by the mix of small planes and larger jets which currently use the same runway.
“You've got one, two, three -- four business-class aircraft out there,” said Sherman Gardner, as he watched the runway with his son, Ryan. The Gardners operate In the Pattern Aviation Services, which rents planes to pilots and offers flight lessons.
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“It gets real congested out here sometimes,” he said.
The problem is about to get a solution. Construction begins Monday on a second runway at the airport. The plan was first discussed in 1994.
“You don't build it because the date arrives,” said Scott Grey, the airport manager, who initially brought up the idea when he was a consultant. “You build it because the demand is there.”
Gray said the demand, 140,000 flights in and out of the airport each year, make Denton Municipal Airport the 10th-busiest in Texas. City leaders believe adding a second runway will not only clear up congestion, but it will help attract more corporate business to the city.
“I believe some of the corporations that have located here have done so because of this option, and this opportunity for transportation,” said Chris Watts, Denton mayor.
Two runways will allow airport controllers to separate larger jets from smaller planes. The project should be finished by next September.
“That's really going to alleviate that and take a lot of pressure off our main runway here,” said Gardner.