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."

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.

TXDOT Approves Grant For Pearland Airport

By: Pearland.com

The Pearland Regional Airport will be getting some much-needed upgrades now that a $500,000 grant from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has been approved. Even though the grant is federal, TxDOT (Texas Department of Transportation) actually approves who gets it and how it is spent. The money will go towards safety and security improvements at Pearland Regional Airport, including new entrance gates, signage, striping, electrical and lighting. The main focus will be helping reduce the chance of vehicles from entering the runways and taxiways, as well as enhancing the visibility of markings for pilots flying to and from Pearland Regional.

"The enhancements the airport is going to receive will help to make sure aircraft can navigate the airport and move safely alongside their four-wheeled counterparts," said Stephen Alexander - Texas Aviation Partners.

“Over the past eighteen months, Pearland Regional Airport has seen explosive growth, including nearly forty new hangars, new commercial businesses arriving, and a substantial increase in full time employment."

According to TXDOT, arrivals and departures from community airports account for more than three million flight hours per year and provide aircraft facilities for agricultural, medical, business and commuter use.

The work in and around Pearland Regional Airport will start this summer and take two to three months to complete. 

"Pearland 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," added Alexander. "We are excited for what the future holds for Pearland Regional Airport as it continues to become a stronger and stronger contributor to the greater Pearland community.”

Texas Aviation Partners manages and operates Pearland Regional Airport on behalf of the airport owner, Clover Acquisition Corporation. For more information or to sign up for the airport’s monthly newsletters, please visit www.flypearland.com

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.

 

# # #

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).

Veteran flight training program takes off in San Marcos

By Alicia Inns 

SAN MARCOS (KXAN) — Military helicopter pilots who have a desire to enter into a commercial airline career now have the chance through training done in San Marcos.

Coast Flight Training, the San Diego-based company that recruits and trains veteran and civilian talent to fly commercial airlines, began operating at San Marcos Regional Airport in January 2017 and has currently enrolled 200 students for training this year. An official ribbon-cutting takes place Friday.

The Rotary Transition Program (RTP) in San Marcos is designed to train experienced helicopter pilots to meet the FAA requirements for fixed-wing pilots going into an airline career. As a partner with Envoy and American Airlines Group, Coast Flight Training offers pilot candidates a direct connection to transition directly into the cockpit with a conditional job offer once the program is completed.

For veteran Gary L. Good, the fascination with soaring above the clouds started early. “I actually wanted to be an astronaut when I was a young guy,” Good said.

He served in the Army for 22 years as an officer and Black Hawk helicopter pilot.

“With solo military flights in a helicopter school, most of them have buddy flights where there’s another student in the aircraft. But here we do our first actual solo driving up in a plane so it’s pretty amazing,” Good says.

Officials hope it helps meet a growing pilot shortage nationwide because many veterans already have their license with the FAA.

“Most of these guys have an excess of 1,500 flight hours so they automatically qualify in terms of experience,” said Dan Verda, director of operations for Coast Flight. “They’re already getting a qualified capable pilot, the minute they walk through the door. They are taking that wealth of knowledge and experience that they’ve built over 10, 15, 20 years in the military and they are going to capitalize that to get mature seasoned aviators.”

Boeing estimates more than 500,000 new pilots will be needed globally over the next 20 years. In the U.S., the four largest airlines plan to retire a minimum of 18,000 pilots by 2022 due to a mandatory retirement age of 65, creating an expected shortfall of 35,000 pilots.

Coast Flight Training maintains an aircraft fleet of 25 in San Marcos with an additional 10 being added by early fall. Monthly traffic counts for San Marcos Regional Airport have doubled since training began. Coast Flight Training maintains a student count of 65 at any given time and expects to grow from 10 to 15 employees by late summer with plans to ultimately employ 40.

 

GTU Jet relocating offices closer to Georgetown Municipal Airport's runway

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 3, 2017

GTU Jet to move base operations at Georgetown Municipal Airport

GEORGETOWN, Texas (May 3, 2017) – GTU Jet, the largest fixed base operator (FBO) servicing Georgetown Municipal Airport, is relocating their offices to a facility closer to the runway on Monday, May 8.  The hangar and office building, which is adjacent to the airport terminal and air traffic control tower, is already part of GTU Jet’s leasehold.

The move comes on the heels of a successfully renegotiated lease with the city, led by Texas Aviation Partners, the FBO’s operator.

“We are ready and excited for the higher visibility,” said Ken Mabe, General Manager of GTU Jet. “The new location will make us easier to find for pilots visiting Georgetown for the first time.”

The space will include a dedicated frequency enabling air to ground communications with the FBO, a flight planning area, pilot snooze room, conference facilities, and a larger break room and rest area. Additionally, pilots will have access to a new diesel powered GPU, lavatory cart, and nitrogen service. 

“We have invested heavily in the amenities we offer transient customers and tenants of the airport,” said Mabe. “Our level of service continues to increase. It makes sense to be closer to our customers on the airside so we can better serve them.”

GTU Jet will continue to operate and manage their existing hangar and ramp area, as well as the other buildings within their campus.

NTRA signs contract for alert hangar lease

Posted Mar 15, 2017 at 2:01 PM  

By Michael Hutchins Herald Democrat

Officials with Texas Aviation Partners announced the lease of hangar 5513 at North Texas Regional Airport — Perrin Field on Wednesday. The large hangar, more commonly known as the alert hangar, was kept at the ready throughout the 1960s and early 1970s with interceptor aircraft in the event of an emergency along the country's southern border.

Under the terms of the lease, A4-L LLC will get 29,000 square feet of space in the hangar for the next five years, with options to extend the agreement for another 15 years in total. Negotiations for the contract were handled by Texas Aviation Partners, who provide marketing and operations services for the airport.

"We're please to see A4-L grow their business at NTRA," Stephen Alexander, with Texas Aviation Partners, said in a press release Wednesday. "The alert hangar was a perfect option for their expansion."

Currently, A4-L maintains and leases aircraft including the titular Douglas A4 Skyhawk for government and commercial contracts. On its website, A4-L lists contract flights, film and stunt photography, and airshows among its services.

"These professional aircraft are ready for contract to specialized operators and military contractors," the website said, describing A4L's services alongside pictures of the Skyhawk in flight. "These aircraft have recent experience as target drone tugs, and as mock dog-fight/aggressor training simulation."

John Tallichet, president and CEO of A4-L, said the company currently owns seven A4 aircraft with three in flight condition at this time. The company has maintained a smaller box hangar at the airport for about three years, but business has stalled recently as they do not have the space to perform maintenance, he said.

"This new facility will provide the space we need to efficiently support existing operations and enable us to expand our business by offering maintenance support," Tallichet said.

With the additional space, A4-L will be able to expand its maintenance service to other turbine-powered aircraft including Learjets, Citations and King Air aircraft.

"One of the things that will help the airport grow is the ability to do heavier maintenance," Ken Mabe, representing Texas Aviation Partners, said Wednesday.

Previously, Alexander described the former alert hangar as a hard sell due to its size and age. The hangar was built in 1951 and first utilized in 1955. Ken Mabe, with Texas Aviation Partners, said the building has been mostly vacant outside of aircraft storage for nearly a decade.

Clyde Siebman, chairman of the Grayson County Regional Mobility Authority, voiced his approval for the contract on Wednesday. In a unanimous vote in December, the GCRMA board approved moving forward with negotiations on the contract.

With a new tenant in the hangar, Siebman said he expected it to bring more attention to the airport and its economic vitality. Through this lease, Siebman said the airport could attract more tenants, including one for the remaining space in the alert hangar. In total, the building has more than 54,000 square feet of space.

Under the lease, A4-L will pay $7,500 each month for the first 12 months of the lease. For the remaining term of the lease, A4-L will pay nearly $9,500 each month.

When asked about any additional investment or equipment for the space, Mabe said he was uncertain what would be needed, but he expected that there would be some investment in the building.

"With any building of that age, there is going to maintenance and I expect there will be money invested in it," he said.

$1.5 million private hangar development opens at Pearland Regional Airport

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Pearland, Texas (January 16, 2017) – After months of anticipation, tenants who pre-leased a T-hangar at Pearland Regional Airport were excited to pick up the keys to their units on Monday.

"It's been a lot of fun showing these pilots to their brand new hangars," said operations manager Adam Arceneaux. "It's like Christmas morning around here."

Construction of the $1.5 million 23 unit T-hangar project is part of a multi-phase development plan put together by Texas Aviation Partners (airport management) and Clover Acquisition Corporation (airport owner). 

Stephen Alexander with Texas Aviation Partners thinks the few remaining unleased units will go quickly.

“We listened to what the public needs and wants here” said Alexander. “With the construction of these T-hangars, we are looking to help alleviate the squeeze on general aviation pilots in the area.”

The T-hangars include electric bi-fold doors, 120-v outlets, plenty of space for supplies, and are in close proximity to the runway.  They are expected to bring growth and development not only to the airport, but also to the surrounding area, as many of the alternative airport options do not have adequate hangar availability. 

For more information about leasing, please visit www.flypearland.com/hangar-development or email LVJ@texasaviationpartners.com.

U.S. Military Helicopter Pilots to train for careers with Envoy/American Airlines

Aviation Tribune 

January 7, 2017

Coast Flight Training is expanding from its San Diego headquarters to establish a second location for its airline flight training program in San Marcos, TX.

The new training facilities in San Marcos will focus on training U. S. Military helicopter pilots who are transitioning to in-demand careers as civilian airline pilots for the nation’s top airlines.

The U.S. airline industry is facing a critical shortage of pilots, with more than 617,000 trained pilots needed by 2035 according to studies by Boeing. Pilots earn an average of $58,000 starting salary, plus benefits including travel, climbing to more than $100,000 annually after a few years in the industry, and potentially exceeding $300,000 annually during a career.

“We are very pleased to be opening a Coast location in San Marcos, where we have been welcomed with open arms by the City, Greater San Marcos Partnership, and in particular Texas Aviation Partners. They created a very positive business environment for us to invest here, create jobs, and help veterans achieve great success for themselves and their families,” said Bryan Simmons, President of Coast Flight Training. A retired United States Marine and military flight instructor, Simmons served as Presidential Command pilot for two U. S. Presidents.

“Coast Flight’s choice of San Marcos shows the true value of our airport in our economic development effort,” said City Councilman and Airport Board Chairman, Scott Gregson. “Increased utilization of our facility and being involved with re-training our veterans to help solve a critical shortage of pilots is a

“Increased utilization of our facility and being involved with re-training our veterans to help solve a critical shortage of pilots is a win-win for everyone.”

Partnering with Envoy Air/American Airlines Group, Coast Flight Training instructors will launch the first Rotary Transition Program (RTP) class in San Marcos in early 2017, providing complete transition training of Helicopter pilots to meet FAA fixed wing requirements, along with a conditional offer of employment with Envoy/American Airlines upon successful completion of training and certification. “Envoy Air is proud to team with Coast to launch this new program in Texas, and to promote commercial aviation as a rewarding career for our U. S. Military Veterans. Coast Flight offers outstanding training and produces

“Envoy Air is proud to team with Coast to launch this new program in Texas, and to promote commercial aviation as a rewarding career for our U. S. Military Veterans. Coast Flight offers outstanding training and produces well-qualified pilots that are ready to join the Envoy/American Airlines Group team, and we welcome them to Texas,” said Ric Wilson, Vice President Flight Operations, Envoy Air.

The RTP is specifically designed to meet the needs of experienced helicopter pilots, who already have valuable skills that can quickly translate to civilian employment. After approximately 90 days of training, pilots will join the Envoy/American Airlines team, which is making the RTP possible for Veterans by providing tuition assistance and a generous hiring bonus.

Coast Flight, founded in 2008 has been one of San Diego’s fastest growing companies, three years running. Coast is a FAA Part-141 flight school and is TSA and SEVP approved to host international students. Coast is also an acknowledged leader in Cirrus training and has been designated by Cirrus Aircraft as a Cirrus Platinum Training Center.

RMA negotiates lease for about half of NTRA's largest hangar

Herald Democrat

By Michael Hutchins

December 15, 2016

In the 1960s North Texas Regional Airport - Perrin Field's alert hangar was constantly ready to respond to threats against the U.S. With its four large bay doors that were designed for quick release and interceptor aircraft, the hangar provided a quick military response in the event of an emergency along the country's southern border.

While the golden days of Perrin Field's military past may be a distant memory, the alert hangar may soon see new life.

Officials with the Grayson County Regional Mobility Authority voted unanimously Thursday to authorize contract negotiations with A4L LLC for the lease of half of the alert hangar. Previously, A4L has leased out aircraft including the titular Douglas A4 Skyhawk for government and commercial contracts.

"The plan for A4L is to continue and expand to those operations and conduct maintenance on King Air Leer Jets and other turbine-powered aircraft," Jim Wimberly, representing Texas Aviation Partners, said.

The lease would include nearly 29,000 square feet of hangar, office and shop space along the northern side of the hangar. Under preliminary agreements, the hangar will be used to store, maintain and refurbish aircraft. On its website, A4L lists services including contract flights, film and stunt photography, and airshows.

"These professional aircraft are ready for contract to specialized operators and military contractors," the website said, describing A4L's services alongside pictures of the Skyhawk in flight. "These aircraft have recent experience as target drone tugs, and as mock dog-fight/aggressor training simulation."

Negotiations will be handled by Texas Aviation Partners, who provide marketing and operational services to NTRA. Stephen Alexander, a partner with TAP, said A4L previously sub-rented a smaller box hangar at NTRA, thus making it one of the first businesses to expand at NTRA since TAP was contracted for services earlier this year.

Alexander said the alert hangar has had several small tenants over the years, but not to the size of A4L. Over the past few years, Alexander said the building has been vacant. Issues with renting the hangar included its remote location, size and age, he said.

"Everyone considers this a hard rent," he said.

Alexander said he and other officials hope that the large space would give the company room to grow and, with time, expand into the full building space. Additionally, he said by adding another tenant to the space, he hopes that it will generate additional interest in the airport.

When asked about any upgrades to the site, Board Chairman Clyde Siebman said the RMA will pay to put up a partition wall separating the building in half for the lease. Any other upgrades and improvements to the site would be at the expense of the lessee, he said.

Siebman said it is too soon to announce the details of any agreement, but said a draft will likely be presented to the board in January.