The first steps have been taken toward proposing a 2023 bond election that would help fund a new terminal at McKinney National Airport to add commercial services.

McKinney formed a bond committee in September, with the first meeting held Oct. 12. During the meeting, McKinney leaders presented plans to ask for potentially $200 million in bonds to fund a new terminal that would bring in commercial airlines for passenger services. Commercial service has been in the airport’s master plan since 2012, officials said.

“We have a tremendous, tremendous opportunity,” McKinney Mayor George Fuller told the committee. “This is something that's going to impact everybody in this room, every city in this region, North Texas, and we are tremendously excited about it and anxious to get started.”

The proposed terminal would be 144,000 square feet and include four gates with room to grow to 16 gates, 2,000 parking spaces, dining, retail and enhanced passenger experience amenities, such as play areas for children near gates.

The overall project scope is $300 million, which includes contingencies and cost escalations, officials said. The project is eligible for “considerable” grant funding through the Federal Aviation Administration, McKinney National Airport Director Ken Carley said. This would offset how much the city would ask for in bond funding, if the city decides to go that route.

The city has been in talks with some commercial airlines that expressed interest in the project and providing services at the McKinney airport, City Manager Paul Grimes said. The airlines all expect to have a third airport join Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and Love Field to service the region, he said.

In addition, the Texas Department of Transportation has plans to expand Spur 399 in McKinney around the airport, which will help meet the expected increased traffic from commercial services.

The expansion would be built on land the city already owns and purchased in 2018 for the purpose of expanding the airport, Assistant City Manager Barry Shelton said.

McKinney National Airport provides general aviation services, such as private business flights, flight training and medical transport. The airport has been undergoing various expansion projects since for some time it has been and continues to operate at 100% occupancy.

Following a series of meetings in October and November, the bond committee will recommend to City Council whether or not a bond election should be called in May 2023. City Council will then ultimately decide to call a bond or not. If a bond moves forward and McKinney voters approve it, the airport could see commercial services as soon as spring and summer of 2026.

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