Officials considering funding partnership for customs facility at Conroe airport

Lone Star Executive Airport in Conroe could be adding an immigration and customs facility to its growing list of services, with funding from a regional partnership between Montgomery County, The Woodlands Township, and several other public and private entities.

The new facility would allow inbound private aircraft landing at Lone Star Executive Airport to clear customs in Conroe rather than in nearby Houston or Laredo, officials said.

"It's going to be a huge plus for this region of Texas," said Mike Meador, Montgomery County Precinct 1 commissioner. "There are only eight or nine reliever airports [in Texas] that have customs agents."

The county has partnered with Black Forest Ventures and the city of Conroe and is pursuing partnerships with The Woodlands Township and the East County Improvement District to fund construction of the proposed 32,000-square-foot facility.

The project is expected to cost an estimated $2 million to $2.5 million, with each partner contributing about $600,000, Meador said.

The Woodlands officials are considering funding a portion of the project to provide accessible international travel to companies with business abroad, township chairman Bruce Tough said.

In the Houston region, only Sugar Land Regional Airport, William P. Hobby Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport offer similar facilities, Tough said.

Lone Star Executive Airport has steadily seen growth and improvement as the county invests to keep up with growing local demand for business travel. The airport recently added the Galaxy FBO facility, and it is extending one of its runways to 7,500 feet to accommodate heavier flight loads, airport director Scott Smith said.

"The demand in corporate and business aviation is increasing, and that is directly because of business and economic activity increasing in our side of town," Smith said. "It opens up opportunities for the customer, and that is what it's all about."

Gil Staley, chief executive officer of The Woodlands Economic Partnership, said the facility would give The Woodlands another business recruitment tool in its arsenal composed of quality of life amenities, mobility improvement projects and tax incentive programs.

"We have been told by two significant users of corporate aircraft that they would not entertain the idea of being at an airport unless they had a customs facility," Staley said. "Being as competitive as we can when we recruit companies is vital."


The Firework Extravaganza will begin at 9:30 p.m. July 4 (Courtesy The Woodlands Township)
Celebrate dad, see Fourth of July fireworks: 12 things to do in The Woodlands area this June and July

Events in The Woodlands area in June and July include celebrations for Father's Day and the Fourth of July.

The Woodlands Township board of directors will meet June 17. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Woodlands to resume incorporation planning sessions June 17

After a break of more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Woodlands Township will resume its incorporation planning meetings June 17.

ShareTea opened in Metropark Square in early June. (Courtesy ShareTea)
ShareTea now open in Metropark Square

ShareTea opened June 7 at the Metropark Square in The Woodlands.

Avanti Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar opened a second location. (Courtesy Avanti Italian Kitchen)
Avanti Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar opens second location in The Woodlands

The new location comes after the original location receive positive reception from the Creekside community.

The Shenandoah City Council approved a resolution regarding an updated thoroughfare plan June 9. (Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper)
Shenandoah City Council weighs in on Montgomery County's 2021 thoroughfare plan

Among the projects opposed by the council is an I-45 overpass from Vision Park Drive.

Taco Bueno sells tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos and more unique items, including the Muchaco, a taco made with a soft pita-like shell. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Taco Bueno coming to Katy and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

Sen. Brandon Creighton announced his re-election campaign for Texas Senate District 4 on June 10. (Courtesy Brandon Creighton)
'Unfinished business remains': Brandon Creighton aims at re-election for Texas Senate District 4

Creighton announced his plans to run for re-election to serve his third term for the 88th Texas Legislature.

Q&A: Dirk Lange, president and CEO of KBI Biopharma, talks about biotech growth in The Woodlands

KBI Biopharma began operating at its site in The Woodlands in 2017 and has more than doubled in size to 60 employees in the last several years.

Economist Elliot Eisenberg spoke about the economic recovery post-pandemic, saying this year's GDP growth will be the best since the 1950s. (Brooke Ontiveros/Community Impact Newspaper)
Economist explains housing demand, price booms in Texas, Greater Houston area

Eisenberg explained why home prices are rising at a June 9 Greater Houston Builders Association luncheon.

Officials with the Harris County Justice Administration Department said they identified racial disparities in citations and use of force by law enforcement, among other areas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Harris County identifies racial disparities in use of force, citations from law enforcement agencies

Analysis in the report included racial demographics in instances of consent search, contraband discovery, traffic stops that led to arrests, types of citations or warnings, and use of force.

Hughes Landing is one of two locations where new office leases were signed by The Howard Hughes Corp. in The Woodlands in early June. (Courtesy The Howard Hughes Corp.)
Howard Hughes Corp. names 6 new tenants for Hughes Landing, The Woodlands Waterway

The Howard Hughes Corp. announced June 9 six companies in fields including commercial real estate, cyber intelligence, energy and bioscience have signed leases at The Woodlands office buildings.