The city received a request to rename the airport the Johnny Gantt Regional Airport and to rename the Airport Terminal Building the Buz Landry Terminal Building.
Gantt was an aircraft dealer based out of the Georgetown airport and one of the first businesses at the airport in the 1970s, according to a letter from Jim Schwertner, chairman of the TxDOT Aviation Advisory Board.
“Gantt built two 20,000 square foot [hangars] to help make the airport a profitable industry,” Schwertner’s letter said. “He developed his company (Gantt Aviation) from that location ... and it grew nationally and later, internationally.”
Landry was there the day Georgetown Airport opened in November 1945, the letter continued, and he continued to fly out of it since.
“Landry is a proud aviator who has always been an inspiration and mentor to the other pilots,” Schwertner said. “His love for aviation is unmatched, making him a worthy namesake.”
Pilot Linda Coltharp also wrote a letter to the city recommending the name change. Coltharp said she flies out of Lago Vista but goes to and from Georgetown frequently.
“I know Johnny Gantt by reputation and respect him for his considerable influence on aviation in Georgetown,” she said. “I am happy to know Buz Landry and attended the gathering a few years ago to honor him at the Georgetown airport.”
She said both men come to mind whenever the history of the airport comes up, adding anyone who has the chance to meet Landry should ask him to tell a few aviation stories.
“They are legendary,” she said.
In 2006 the city adopted a policy for renaming city facilities, public parklands and public streets: The city manager is required to submit the renaming request to a committee consisting of the city manager, assistant city manager, assistant city manager of utility operations, director of community services and two council members for review.
The position of assistant city manager of utility operations is no longer a valid position and the director of community services role is currently vacant, according to City Manager David Morgan.
On Nov. 12, council appointed Council Members Steve Fought and Kevin Pitts to the committee, along with Morgan, Assistant City Manager Laurie Brewer and Assistant City Manager Wayne Reed. Pitts was selected because the airport is in his district, and Fought said he was interested in learning more about Gantt and Landry’s contribution to the airport.
The next step is to hold a public meeting, likely in early December, Morgan said. A 30-day public comment period must follow the meeting. Morgan said afterwards the committee will submit a renaming recommendation to council for approval, likely in January.