The McKinney Community Development Corp. and McKinney Economic Development Corp. have committed a total of $5.4 million to improvements at McKinney National Airport.

The MEDC board unanimously approved the fund allotment at an April 16 meeting, and the MCDC board unanimously approved an additional fund allotment at a May 23 meeting.

The details

The MEDC board contributed $1.78 million, which will be used for planning and design of roadways, parking and infrastructure, Assistant City Manager Barry Shelton said at the April 25 meeting.

The MCDC board approved a $3.6 million contribution that will be used for improvements such as taxiways, aprons and airport facilities, such as hangars or terminals. The funding is being contributed from the organization’s unrestricted fund balance, rather than through its project grant program, to minimize any potential impacts to other projects that apply for grant funding, board member David Kelly said.

The infrastructure improvements planned for the site will enable the development of both commercial and general aviation uses, as much of the planned infrastructure for either use is the same, Shelton said. Improvements planned include taxiways and ramp spaces.

How we got here

City Council members have indicated they still want to pursue commercial aviation at the airport, Shelton said, despite the failure of the $200 million bond in May 2023, which would have funded a commercial passenger terminal.

“The question on the bond election was whether or not the citizens wanted to fund debt of $200 million to fund commercial aviation,” Shelton said. “They said very clearly ... they do not wish to fund that debt, so the council has looked into other options.”

Shelton said the funds will contribute to preparing the airport for future development by the city or other entities, such as corporations.

“Development of the east side is important for us to continue the growth of the airport, specifically for that next corporate entity that’s going to come in looking for a site,” Shelton said.

Shelton said an aviation maintenance and repair company previously expressed interest in developing a site on the east side of the airport but ultimately chose to go to another airport because the east side of the airport did not have the necessary existing infrastructure.

“It would have been a great employer, bringing many jobs [and] a lot of economic impact to the community, but because we weren’t readily developable, they chose to go to Alliance Airport,” Shelton said.

Quote of note

“Commercial aviation will happen in McKinney, whether it’s in two years, in five years [or] in 20 years. [McKinney National Airport] is going to have commercial service of some sort. We want to plan for that future. It’s a positive for the community, and it is something that the council has directed us to move forward on,” Shelton said.

Looking ahead

Shelton said he expects design work for the project to be completed and ready for construction in mid-2025.

Ahead of construction, Shelton said he expects city staff to continue pursuing funding sources for the construction work, including through federal grant programs.

“Once we have the design ready and we have ... construction documents ready for construction, we will have to determine how to fund the construction,” he said.

Learn more

For more information about McKinney National Airport, visit