At its May meeting, the Texas Transportation Commission approved approximately $1.5 million for improvements to Stephenville’s Clark Field Municipal Airport.
“The funds will be used for planned airport improvements, which includes land acquisition,” states a release from TxDOT’s Public Information Officer Val Lopez. “Land will be acquired this summer. Project costs will be funded through the city of Stephenville and TxDOT’s Aviation Facilities Grant Program, which preserves and improves the state’s general aviation system.”
In October 2016 the TTC approved a $60,800 grant to pay for survey and appraisal costs for the land acquisition adjacent to the airport.
“We’re expanding the runway by 800 feet, so we need to purchase property on both ends,” Deputy City Administrator Jeremy Allen said in a previous interview with the E-T. “That will be 600 feet on the south and 200 feet on the north.”
On Wednesday, Allen confirmed the runway expansion saying that this is a portion of a right of way acquisition grant.
This year, TxDOT is expecting to provide around $60 million in funding for improvements to community airports.
In a previous interview, Allen said the project is being funded with a 90/10 grant.
“That means the city puts up 10 percent and TxDOT puts up 90 percent of the cost,” Allen said.
Allen added that they’re hoping for a timeline of spring 2018.
But Clark Field won’t be the only airport to receive funding.
“Approximately 275 community airports in Texas are eligible for funding,” Lopez stated. “Arrivals and departures from community airports account for more than three million flight hours per year and provide aircraft facilities for agricultural, medical, business and commuter use.”
More than 70 percent of operations at Clark Field are categorized as flight training and recreational flying, according to TxDOT’s Economic Impacts report.
“The airport also supports corporate activity and partners with Cook Children’s Hospital, CareFlite and Hendricks Medical Pathologists Group for medical evacuation services,” the report states. “The airport is involved with the community, and staff conducts tours of airport grounds for local school groups and other organizations such as Boy Scouts, Foster’s Home for Children and others.”
The interior portion of the airport has also been used by the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council to display local artists’ works.