Master plan for Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport approved at Montgomery County Commissioners Court, July 11

A master plan for the Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport was approved at the Montgomery County Commissioners Court meeting Tuesday morning.

The Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport has undergone several expansion projects in recent years, including a runway extension from 6,000 to 7,501 feet in March 2015 and the opening of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspection station Sept. 12. The station makes it possible for international flights to land in Conroe instead of being forced into a layover at nearby airports, such as the Sugar Land Regional Airport, to clear customs.

Airport director Scott Smith said the master plan that was recommended by the airport advisory board and the airport master plan committee offers a short, medium and long term development plan for the airport and looks toward the future. The plan includes changes to taxiway alignments, development opportunities for new hangars on undeveloped land and other capital improvements.

"The master plan for the airport is basically a comprehensive study and based on what happens in the future for aviation demand," Smith said. "It’s really a strategy on how to develop the airport strategic framework so in the future, if certain demands happen, the airport owner doesn’t have to start from zero since there is a plan in place." 

Eric Pfeifer of Coffman Associates worked on the master plan for Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport and said the plan takes future growth into consideration.

The recent trend here at the airport has been growth and we've seen operations tick up in last few years," Pfeifer said. "In 2016 the airport had about 65,000 operations and we’ve seen a nice increase in last year. We see opportunities for growth."

While the master plan was approved at the court meeting, not all commissioners were in favor of approving the plan at the July 11 meeting. Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack said we would prefer to wait on approving the master plan in order to better understand the material.

"When you look at the future of Montgomery County it sounds like this master plan is the most critical piece in making sure we move forward," Noack said. "I appreciate the time that has gone into this and I want to go through the plan and ask any questions I have. So I’d like to defer this until next court."

Precinct 1 Commissioner Mike Meador said the airport master plan committee and airport advisory board created a great master plan and that the committee knows the needs, demands and growth of the county.

"I want to thank the advisory board and committee for the work they’ve done since they’ve done a great job," Meador said. "It's a great master plan and it can lead us into the future.