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Pearland Regional Airport to use $500,000 grant for upgrades

By Kristi Nix, knix@hcnonline.com

Published 4:59 pm, Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Pearland Regional Airport is set to launch $500,000 in renovations and upgrades thanks to a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration that will be administered by the Texas Department of Transportation.

The grant will fund safety and security improvements including new entrance gates, signage, striping and lighting designed to increase visibility of runway markings for pilots.

Project costs will be funded through the Clover Acquisition Corp. and TxDot’s Aviation Facilities Grant Program.

“The airport is truly a small city now, and this grant will go a long way to ensuring that the airport is set to safely and efficiently continue its robust development,” said Stephen Alexander of Texas Aviation Partners, the managing firm of the airport. “The enhancements the airport will receive will help to make sure that aircraft can navigate the airport safely, alongside their four-wheeled counterparts.”

The airport, a privately owned airfield open to the public, is home to a variety of tenants and businesses including several flights schools, airplane and helicopter maintenance shops and 20 full-time residents who live in homes or condos connected to private airplane storage facilities.

Built as a private facility in 1940 by the George R. Brown family, the 320-acre airport was transitioned to public use in 1950. Clover Acquisition acquired the property in 1957 and renamed it Clover Field. The airport, which has one 5,000-foot runway that can accommodate up to medium-size aircraft, was renamed Pearland Regional Airport in 2003. Texas Aviation Partners took over management in June 2013.

Two flying clubs, Coastal Skies and the Bar Area Aero Club, are based at the airport. In addition to flying lessons, airplane rentals and air tours for non-pilots interested in sightseeing, the clubs offer group comprehensive insurance and social events for members.

Operations manager Adam Arceneaux said the improvements will provide new security gates at the four airport entrances.

“We also plan to upgrade all the taxiway and runway lights, install additional lights and refurbish the airport beacon tower,” he said.

“Our goal is to maintain a safe environment for pilots and make sure we are ahead of the curve in terms of infrastructure.”

He said contracts will be awarded for all the proposed upgrades through a competitive bidding process.

The work should start this month or August and take two to three months to complete.

“We’re working to manage growth in a smart, measured way,” he said. “We want to make data-driven decisions for not just the airport but for the entire community. This grant is the next step for us.”

This grant is a huge shot of adrenaline because it helps us step up our game.”

Representative Ed Thompson, R-Pearland, said the grant would give the airport the opportunity to increase its economic development impact within the area.

“General aviation is a vital industry to our state’s economic growth,” he said.

“I’m so pleased that Pearland Regional Airport is being recognized for their contribution and being given the opportunity to expand their impact.”

Texas Transportation Commissioner Laura Ryan also praised the airport.

“Providing this funding to the Pearland Regional Airport is key to supporting area aviation,” she said. “This is a vibrant facility that plays an important economic role in the local community.”

Source: http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/pearland/news/article/Pearland-Regional-Airport-to-use-500-000-grant-11292433.php#photo-13252199

Texas Aviation Partners plans NTRA runway reopening

By Michael Hutchins, Herald Democrat

Officials with Texas Aviation Partners announced plans Thursday to restore and reopen a portion of one of North Texas Regional Airport — Perrin Field’s two parallel runways to aviation traffic. The runway, which has remained closed since the closure of Perrin Air Force Base in 1971, will be used to separate and segregate the traffic that comes into, and leaves, the airport, officials said.

The announcement was made during Thursday’s meeting of the Grayson County Regional Mobility Authority as a part of the airport manager’s report. Currently, the airport is equipped with three runways — the two parallel runways and a third cross runway.

“The main goal of that (opening the runway) would be to segregate your light (aircraft) … away from your jet traffic,” NTRA Airport Manager Sarah Hinton said during Thursday’s meeting.

Hinton said the airport currently has about an 8,000 foot stretch of unused runway space that dates back to the airport’s time as a military base. Of that space, Hinton proposed repairing 3,000 feet so that it can be used by smaller aircraft and training aircraft. This would leave the larger airstrip for more powerful jet aircraft, she said.

Hinton said the repairs needed to this section of runway are primarily crack- and chip-seal work and new painting. Other maintenance, including herbicide and brush removal, are already included in the budget, she said.

Stephen Alexander, a partner with Texas Aviation Partners, said the portion of runway was chosen due to its condition and the relative ease of bringing it up to usable condition. During her presentation, Hinton said the chosen portion of runway would cost about $70,000 to seal and repaint. With a 20 percent contingency fee, Hinton said she did not expect the project to go over $100,000.

When the topic of rebuilding the existing runway was brought up later in the meeting, Grayson County Judge Bill Magers estimated the cost at about $7 million.

The need for additional runway space stems from training flight operations conducted by US Aviation. Alexander said the flight school conducts daily operations using prop-driven aircraft at the airport with regular takeoff and touchdowns on the runway. This traffic could make it difficult at times for larger, jet-powered aircraft to land, he said.

By separating the traffic, Alexander said the airport could alleviate any safety issues related to the two types of aircraft operating in the same space. As an analogy, Alexander compared the proposed layout as a four-lane highway, where as the airport now is close to a two-lane roadway.

With the separation of these uses, Magers said he hopes to attract more jet traffic to NTRA and with it other forms of development and industry. Additionally, by reducing the landing times, Magers said the airport can reduce the cost to use the airport by jet pilots, further incentivizing NTRA as a viable destination.

During public comments on the topic, George Shuler asked what stakeholders, including US Aviation thought about the proposed location of the open runway space. Shuler said he was concerned that the distance between the flight school and the runway space would create an unneeded burden on US Aviation. Shuler asked if it would be possible to instead renovate space to the south that would be closer to the flight school.

Alexander said US Aviation has expressed support for the project, and noted that the distance between where the flight school regularly takes off and the new runway space is not significant.

Magers said Grayson County will be financing the improvements using capital improvement funds allocated in the 2016-2017 budget. During the discussion, Magers thanked Lawrence for his foresight during the budgeting process and making this improvement possible.

While the funding is available now, Magers said he was uncertain whether the improvements would take place during the current or next fiscal year due to timing. Hinton said NTRA will need to wait for approval from the Federal Aviation Administration before it can repair and open the air strip. She estimated it could take about 60 days for the proper permits to be approved.

Source: http://www.heralddemocrat.com/news/20170713/texas-aviation-partners-plans-ntra-runway-reopening

Berry Aviation, Inc. and Texas Aviation Partners Announce $3.2 Million Expansion at San Marcos Regional Airport

PRESS RELEASE

Contact for media inquiries:

Erin Moore 512.637.4224

erin@quicklightmedia.com berryaviation.com

Global Aviation Company to Build State-of-the-Art 31,000 Square Foot Facility

SAN MARCOS – (May 22, 2017) Berry Aviation, Inc. (Berry) expands its operations at San Marcos Regional Airport with the signing of a 40-year ground lease with the City of San Marcos. Texas Aviation Partners, the company contracted to manage the airport on behalf of the City, worked with Berry to secure the ground lease, on which Berry plans to construct a more than 31,000 square foot facility. The approximately $3.2 million investment will allow Berry to better accommodate their growing airline fleet and staff.

“San Marcos has been an excellent location for us to conduct business from for the past 25 years,” Sonny Berry, founder of Berry Aviation, Inc. explained. “We looked at several potential airports for this project and when we engaged with the leadership at the City of San Marcos and Texas Aviation Partners, we determined the best place for our company and team to expand was right here at home.”

The new facility will house Berry’s maintenance and supply-chain headquarters, and will include a 20,000 square foot maintenance hangar, machine shop, non-destructive testing lab, state-of-the-art parts retrieval system, and more than 10,000 square feet of office space. The facility will allow Berry to work on larger aircraft in a controlled environment and perform component overhaul for third party air carriers. Berry anticipates adding an additional 20 to 30 high-skilled employees as part of the expansion.

“The San Marcos Airport, coupled with the City’s location in this growing, thriving corridor makes our community ripe for economic development,” said city of San Marcos Mayor John Thomaides. “We are very pleased with Berry Aviation’s success in San Marcos, their position as a beacon of economic growth in the greater San Marcos region, and we look forward to 40 more years as a partner and home to the company.”

“After outgrowing our current space, we are excited about the new opportunities this expansion project presents and thankful for the ability to provide our employees with a world-class facility near their homes in the San Marcos area,” Berry said.

With more than 30 years in service, Berry provides innovative airlift and aviation support services to government and industry customers. For more information about Berry Aviation, please visit www.berryaviation.com.

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Berry Aviation, Inc.

Founded in 1983, Berry Aviation, Inc. provides airlift and aviation support services to address challenging circumstances in industry and government. Headquartered in San Marcos, Texas, with satellite facilities across the U.S., the Middle East, Africa, and the Pacific Islands, Berry covers almost 2.5 million miles, performing more than 13,000 flight operations, annually. Berry specializes in solving geopolitical, regulatory, environment and time related air transportation complexities through capabilities-driven aviation. More information on the company’s services, certifications, and history can be found at www.berryaviation.com.

About Texas Aviation Partners

Texas Aviation Partners was founded in 2007 to offer a unique blend of aviation and businesssolutions. TAP provides services that range from airport and FBO management to business development plans, capital improvement project management, and consulting. To learn more, visit www.texasaviationpartners.com.

San Marcos Regional Airport

Occupying nearly 1,400 acres, San Marcos Regional Airport is the city’s largest parcel of developable land and has been managed by Texas Aviation Partners since 2010. The airport is home to more than 225 based aircraft and 13 aviation-related businesses employing over 150 people. San Marcos Regional is the only reliever airport in Texas for two international airports (Austin-Bergstrom and San Antonio International).