Sugar Land Regional Airport is expected to break ground on the relocation of its Taxiway Foxtrot—an 8,000-foot long, 50-foot wide runway—along with the construction of two new jet hangars by early 2014. The project will be completed in three phases over the next three years. In addition, the city’s airport is in the process of repairing existing runways and has expanded its services to attract new business.
With the completion of its newest runway in 2012—Taxiway Juliet—and an expansion of its services, the changes at Sugar Land Regional Airport are being made with the business community in mind, according to Sugar Land’s director of aviation, Phil Savko.
“We understand our market,” he said. “We have a large business market, and we have everything to supply that market here. [Sugar Land Regional] provides an excellent service and a commitment to keep the airport in the condition that it is in.”
Since it was purchased by the city of Sugar Land in 1990, the Sugar Land Regional Airport has undergone about $100 million in expansions and has served an average of 82,000 flight operations each year. The public airport has been ranked as the fourth largest in the Houston metro since 2009, and the relocation of the estimated $10 million Taxiway Foxtrot is expected to increase commuter services.
In addition to several large companies housing their jets at Sugar Land Regional, the airport sees international flights and local stopovers for its competitive retail fuel prices. According to Savko, Sugar Land Regional’s gas prices have stayed just above $5 per gallon in 2013 compared to an average $7 in Houston, Dallas and Austin.
As a result of increased business, the airport has been able to employ about 200 people—a workforce that is expected to grow in the next five years, Savko said.
“In the next five years we will be looking to build a new, larger maintenance facility, a possible hotel and a restaurant,” he said. “There are five sites left to be developed and room for development to the west. We will see that managed growth continue after the next five years.”
Savko said that he is looking to partner with other businesses to complement the community’s wants and needs. Western Airways, Houston Aviation and other large companies are housed at Sugar Land Regional along with Anson Aviation—an on-site flight school and commercial operator—which has moved into a new facility and expanded its services.
Anson Aviation has operated out of temporary buildings for several years, but moved into a 24,000-square-foot facility at the south end of Sugar Land Regional in mid-June.
“We understand that the primary purpose of flying is to travel and travel by your own terms,” said Jay Robinson, operations manager with Anson Aviation. “Our primary goal has always been, and now is more so, to facilitate flying as a lifestyle.”
The new facility features new equipment, a pilot shop, additional storage and a flight simulator for practice and lessons.