The City of Athens hosted the second meeting of the Airport Planning Advisory Committee on Monday, as part of the ongoing Athens Municipal Airport master-planning process.
During the meeting, the committee discussed the first four chapters of the master plan draft, including the introduction, inventory, forecasts and facility requirements sections. The committee was also joined by special guests, Sen. Robert Nichols and David Fulton, director of aviation for TxDOT Aviation Division.
Garver Engineering facilitated the APAC meeting. Garver presented data and information that offered a confident outlook for the Athens Airport, predicting substantial airport demand growth in the future. Garver also stated that the airport service area of Athens Municipal reaches beyond Athens, and includes the majority of Henderson County, as well as parts of Van Zandt and Anderson counties.
One topic of discussion broached by the committee included competing airports to Athens. Airports in Palestine, Corsicana, Terrell and Cherokee County all have runways of at least 5,000 feet. Athens’ runway length is currently 3,988 feet.
Addressing this, Mayor Jerry Don Vaught stated, “We here in Athens know the importance of a competitive airport on the long-term future and direction of our city. Our ability to recruit and retain business investment and quality jobs will very much be affected by what our airport looks like five, 10 and 20 years from now.”
During the next APAC meeting, the committee will have an opportunity to discuss future airport development, and design recommendations in the master-plan draft.
The APAC is comprised of various local officials, including members of the Athens City Council and the Athens Airport Advisory Board, as well as representatives from Henderson County and the Athens Economic Development Corporation.
The next APAC meeting is tentatively scheduled for late October. Members of the public are always welcomed, and encouraged to attend APAC meetings.