Sugar Land Regional Airport to see new 20-year master plan by the end of this year

In order to better predict the future of Sugar Land Regional Airport (SGR), city officials are working with aviation planning firm R.A. Wiedemann & Associates as well as Parkhill, Smith & Cooper Engineers on an updated 20-year master plan.

The study will examine levels and quality of services and facilities provided; management and staffing recommendations; and development of a blueprint for aviation activity over the next two decades, according to the Sugar Land Regional Airport website.

"[A new plan] is usually brought on by the fact that the last one was done 20 years ago, so they need an update because there's no clear path," Randal Wiedemann, president of R.A. Wiedemann & Associates said. "The airport layout plan, which comes out of this is, a legal document that the [Federal Aviation Agency] uses to allocate money, so if you want money, you have to have a current airport layout plan. This will help update that. It will give a good idea for the future, so that even future administrations have some continuity in their planning."

Some potential airfield facility needs include lengthening, widening and strengthening the runway as well as evaluating wind coverage to ensure planes can take off and land with minimal crosswinds, according to draft master plan update documents.

Potential landside facility needs include terminal building expansion, additional aircraft hangar space, increased jet fuel storage, and more space for automobile parking, circulation and access.

Officials are examining various options for the airport, and residents are encouraged to provide input throughout this process online.

"Once we are sure that those are the right alternatives, then we'll evaluate them, and that will lead to an airport layout plan, then a recommended plan and from that an implementation process," Wiedemann said. "We should be done, theoretically, in November."

SGR accommodates private flights for corporations and business owners, Wiedemann Senior Associate Rob Barber III said.

"These are people that, for whatever reason, have found the efficiency of being able to get to point A to B to C to Z and then come back home for the night and keep the family strong."

The master plan will look beyond the airport and examine ways to bring more business in, Barber said. However, the airport will not become a commercial aviation center, he said.

"This airport has no desire to be a commercial airport," Barber said. "There's not a point we foresee selling tickets and having passengers."

SGR is fully equipped with customs for international flights and offers a convenient alternative to commercial airports like William P. Hobby Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Barber said.

"I see why the corporations do it," he said. "It's not just a luxury—a corporate jet is like a time machine. It allows you to make more happen in the time that you have."

To view the plan draft and other documents relating to the airport's 20-year master plan, click here.
By Beth Marshall
Born and raised in Montgomery County, Beth Marshall graduated from The University of Texas at San Antonio in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in communication and a minor in business. Originally hired as a reporter for The Woodlands edition in 2016, she became editor of the Sugar Land/Missouri City edition in October 2017.