To meet demand, the city of San Marcos requested the Federal Aviation Administration to extend operating hours of the air traffic control tower at the San Marcos Regional Airport, according to a March 31 city news release.

The FAA, which provides the airport's air traffic control services, granted the request and the tower will now be staffed every day from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. beginning April 1.

“San Marcos Regional Airport has consistently set operational records and continues to grow as a vital piece of our economy,” City Manager Bert Lumbreras said in the release. “This extension is an important step toward maintaining a safe environment for everyone who uses the airport, including businesses and recreational pilots.”

The San Marcos Regional Airport saw a 22% increase in operations from 2019 to 2020, the release said.

Additionally, the city said it estimated 2,000 landings and takeoffs occurred within three hours of the airport closing the tower between June and September of 2020. During that period, two planes collided while attempting to land at the airport while the tower was closed.

“We are tremendously grateful to Senator Cornyn and Representative Doggett for their support of the San Marcos community,” Mayor Jane Hughson said in the release. “Their efforts played a key role in making these necessary safety changes at the airport a reality.”