The meeting, held in east McKinney at Old Settler’s Recreation Center, featured presentations from project engineers and city leaders. The meeting focused on preliminary results from the environmental assessment being conducted for the proposed expansion, including insight on traffic, noise, and impacts to rivers and wetlands.
The environmental assessment process is determined by the National Environmental Policy Act and includes evaluating both the proposed action for the project as well as the alternative if there was no action, according to the presentation.
The presentation included a visualization of water resources surrounding the project site.
The environmental study area is all contained within airport property already owned by the city. There are 100-year flood plains to the north and south of the subject property as well as streams and wetland areas.
The site has no ponds or wetlands in the study area, according to the presentation. The east end of the site does have a stream from a fork of the Trinity River.
“We're trying to actually protect that stream. We're trying to actually avoid that tree grove altogether to avoid that and minimize that impact,” said Mitchell McAnally, an engineer and North Texas aviation leader with engineering firm Garver.
The noise analysis uses a model that shows the average amount of noise created over a yearlong period represented as one 24-hour day. The analysis also includes an additional penalty added to sounds created during nighttime hours from 10 p.m. to 6:59 a.m.
The noise forecast utilized the “very high” demand for average daily departures, which estimated 20 flights per day in 2026 and 22 flights per day in 2031, to create the model. However, city officials have historically referenced the medium-demand figure, which estimates about 12 flights per day at the beginning of operations.
“We want to just prepare for all contingencies,” McAnally said. “If the bond is based off the medium [demand] and then ultimately airlines came on board and said ‘Hey, we want to do more flights,’ that wouldn’t be fair to everybody from an environmental standpoint.”
Project representatives also estimate the planes will approach from the north and take off toward the south about 70% of the time, another factor that was included in the noise analysis.
Those factors and more were all used to create a noise contour map. The map represents the concentration of sound created at the airport both if the project proceeds as well as if it does not.
In maps for noise projections in both 2026 and 2031, a majority of sound created at levels that would require noise mitigation per the Federal Aviation Administration was contained within airport property.
The traffic analysis focused on FM 546, a road that runs just south of the airport and would facilitate most terminal traffic, according to the presentation.
The city of McKinney’s policy is all planned roadways are designed to function at a D level of service or higher, according to a grading system from A, the highest level of service with free-flowing traffic and no delays, to F, representing the lowest level of service with considerable traffic and delays.
The traffic projections estimate the level of service for the roadway would remain at an A level at the proposed 2026 opening date. In 2031, the roadway would recede to a B level of service, indicating light to moderate traffic but still no delays, according to the presentation. The project is also planned to include a roundabout-style intersection at the terminal entrance and exit to minimize congestion.
Traffic projections for this roadway do not take the planned Spur 399 project into account because the proposed terminal, if approved, would be constructed and operational before Spur 399 is completed, according to the presentation. Spur 399 will run to the east and south of the airport, connecting US 380 and US 75.
Community members who attended the meeting expressed a variety of concerns about the project during the question and answer session.
Concerns focused on both environmental effects the project may have on the community as well as other aspects of the proposed expansion. McKinney resident Billy Simmons spoke during the question and answer session on his concerns for not having airline commitments and a finalized environmental study prior to the May bond election for the project.
“I just think we're moving too quickly,” Simmons said. “We don't have enough of the information to push the bond.”
Other residents expressed concerns for effects on neighboring cities, the impact to wildlife in the area, how this expansion will affect the development plans for McKinney and more.
Council Member Patrick Cloutier also spoke at the event.
“There's some really good questions posed tonight. I can tell people are upset,” Cloutier said. “What I want people to say to me is tell me what their real concerns are.”
Cloutier noted if the bond is approved in May, he will not vote to issue bonds if conditions, including the results of the environmental assessment, are unfavorable.
“I think the voters should have a crack at this,” Cloutier said.
Another open house to review information from the environmental assessment is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. April 19 at Cockrill Middle School, located at 1351 S. Hardin Blvd. There is also a City Council work session scheduled for 3 p.m. April 4, where council members are expected to discuss project financing and other aspects of the proposed expansion, according to the Mar. 23 presentation.
Following the next open house meeting, the FAA and the Texas Department of Transportation are expected to review the results in the summer. A formal public hearing period will be held later this year, and a final environmental decision is expected before the end of the year, according to the presentation.
To learn more about the proposed expansion, visit www.fly-mckinney.com. Feedback and questions can be submitted to city officials online.