With one of two public meetings complete, the New Braunfels Regional Airport is seeking citizen input as it develops a master plan that will guide operations for the next 20 years.
Robert Lee, who assumed the airport’s director role in August, said it has been a decade since the master plan was updated.
“Ten years ago, we were just a general aviation airport with a few jets going out and single-engine planes,” Lee said. “The role of the airport is changing. We need to make sure the infrastructure is in place to accommodate that type of growth.”
According to Lee, the airport has hopes of attracting more businesses and corporate flight departments, which calls for a different set of requirements. He said the runway could be extended as part of the plan to accommodate a larger variety of aircraft and meet future aviation demands.
Michael Mallonee, manager of aviation planning services with the KSA Airport Consulting Firm, spoke at the first of two public meetings that took place May 23. The city has been working with KSA to develop the master plan. The Texas Department of Transportation’s aviation division, which oversees general aviation programs, is also a partner in the project.
Mallonee said KSA is currently in the data collection process that will be used to develop a long-range activity forecast.
“We anticipate a large amount of growth,” he said. “At the end we will compile a public document with the airport layout plan included.”
Moving forward, Mallonee said KSA will coordinate with both counties and cities that are being affected.
During the first public meeting, several citizens rose concerns about improvements needed on nearby Saur Lane.
“The roads around the airport are out of the airport’s control so to speak,” Lee said. “I know the city is aware of the condition of Saur Lane, and there have been discussions and planning. I know the city is looking at what to do with all the roadways in New Braunfels.”
Mallonee said the airport is an asset to the city of New Braunfels, adding that several community-based services go through general aviation, such as police, fire and EMS operations. A second public meeting is expected to take place in August, but an official date has not been set.