Ready for takeoff: San Marcos airport gets federal, state boost

Hays Free Press
February 20, 2014

The San Marcos Municipal Airport was awarded a $5.77 million facelift in federal and state monies to improve pavement and lighting at the facility, particularly to its ILS (instrument landing system) runway.

Stephen Alexander of Texas Aviation Partners, the private company which manages the airport, said the award would be used to resurface and repair runway 13-31, the ILS runway used by pilots during inclement weather, and to widen the airport’s entrance at State Highway 21.

“These funds help put the San Marcos Airport on a glide path to a better future,” said U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett in a statement. “Continued improvements will allow the airport to better serve Central Texas fliers.”

The airport’s $5.77 million was approved by the Texas Transportation Commission at its January meeting, as part of a $17 million grant used for airport improvements across Texas, according to the state agency.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) awards federal and state funding for capital improvement projects and to help develop and establish Texas airports as authorized by the federal Airport and Airway Improvement Act and the state’s Aviation Facilities Development and Financial Assistance Act, according to the Texas Transportation Commission, which operates under TxDOT.

San Marcos’ airport took the largest chunk of the $17 million grant, and will use $5,470,500 for the pavement and lighting improvements and $300,000 to widen the entrance road.

“We’re always striving to seek grant dollars that are available to improve the airport,” Alexander said, adding that the facility is a vital component to the economic vibrancy of the city and potentially the region.

In the past three years, the San Marcos Municipal Airport has been awarded funding for major improvements to include the traffic control tower, which opened in 2011; and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will install Terminal Radar Display safety equipment at the airport in February, Doggett said.

This year, TxDOT expects to provide about $60 million in funding for planning, construction and maintenance at community airports, according to state agency officials. Approximately 275 community airports in Texas are eligible for funding.

A project consultant will be selected this winter for the improvements at the San Marcos Municipal Airport, TxDOT officials said. The project costs will be funded through the city of San Marcos and TxDOT’s Aviation Facilities Grant Program.

San Marcos will provide a ten percent local match to the state and federal dollars.