COTULLA — As the City of Cotulla continues to see the economic impact of the Eagle Ford Shale, its infrastructure is also witnessing a major rebirth.
Officials broke ground Wednesday on a $9 million expansion project at the Cotulla-La Salle County Airport. The project will help the airport expand its runway from 5,000 to 6,000 feet, build a parallel taxiway and as well as doubling the amount parking space.
Once the project is complete, Airport Manager ET Page said a plane as large as a Gulfstream G550 will be able to take off and land in Cotulla. The maximum takeoff weight of a G550 is 91,000 pounds with a landing weight of 75,300 pounds.
“It doesn’t sound like much but it’s kind of a magic dividing line to get the bigger jets in here,” Page said. “They will be able to take on as much fuel as they need to get to their next stop. Right now, we’re just too short to take on heavier planes. Now with 6,000 feet, they’ll have plenty of room.”
Paige said the growth he’s seen in the 26 years he’s been airport manager has been an eye-opening experience.
“I started here when this was a very small community when the runway was almost non-existent,” he said. “This project means is that we’ll be able to get the bigger companies with the bigger planes coming in here. I could see other businesses will be coming to the airport in the near future.”