Pearland airport expands to meet high demand

Houston Chronicle

By Annette Baird

November 20, 2015

Pearland Regional Airport will begin building new hangars in December as part of a multiphase expansion plan to meet growing demand from the private fliers for an upgraded, less-congested facility.

The project is a joint venture between airport management company Texas Aviation Partners, real estate development and design firm Western LLC and airport owner Clover Acquisition Corp. The first phase will add 23 units that will be available to buy or lease for smaller aircraft.

The $1.5 million hangar facility, slated to be ready for occupancy in March, comes on the heels of recent upgrades to the terminal, which now features a lounge area, Wi-Fi, a conference room and a pilot’s lounge equipped with flight-planning tools, coffee and snacks. The airport also offers jet-fuel service, a courtesy car, ramp tie-down parking and a rental car service and can provide limo, taxi and hotel arrangements.

“We really tried to put the building blocks in place so all the basics the public needs and wants are there,” said Stephen Alexander of Texas Aviation Partners. “We’re aiming to offer first-class facilities.”

Alexander said the goal is to capitalize on increased demand for airplane traffic for recreation, corporate and commercial use by offering an accessible, affordable and safe alternative, while improving services for tenants and pilots.

“The growth that is happening at Hobby and Ellington (airports) is causing a squeeze on general aviation and pilots for small aircraft,” Alexander said. “The price to fly is going through the roof.”

The larger airports, he added, are also very busy.

Location important

Alexander pointed to the Pearland airport’s location, within minutes of main roadways such as Interstate 45 and Sam Houston Parkway, which offer access to the Texas Medical Center and Houston’s Energy Corridor.

Alexander said the airport offers some of the lowest fuel prices, with additional discounts for tenants.

Located at 17622 Airfield Lane, the 320-acre airport was built as a private facility in 1940 by the George R. Brown family. The airfield came into public use in 1950. In 1997, Clover Acquisition acquired the property, and it became known as Clover Field. It was renamed Pearland Regional Airport in 2003. Texas Aviation Partners, a private company that provides a range of services from airport and terminal management to consulting, took over management in June 2013.

The airport, which has one 5,000-foot runway to accommodate up to medium-size jet aircraft, accommodates more than 200 small aircraft, has 65 hangars and counts an average of 27,500 takeoffs and landings in a year.

Second phase planned

Construction of larger custom-built hangars for purchase, the second phase of the development, is expected to get under way early next year.

Cassidy Berenato, director of marketing and business development for Texas Aviation Partners, said the jump in the number of hangars means they can increase capacity to store, fuel and maintain more planes.

Plans include replacing the perimeter fencing and security gates. The airport also plans to develop office, commercial and retail space and areas for light industries associated with aviation.

The airport also is involved in a feasibility study for a new road to access the facility, possibly from Telephone Road, Dixie Farm Road or Pearland Parkway.

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