At the evening session on November 17, 2015, the Arlington City Council approved an ordinance amending 99 square miles – the Comprehensive Plan for the City of Arlington to incorporate the Airport Development Plan for the Arlington Municipal Airport.Arlington is designated by the FAA as a “Reliever” airport, a large general aviation airport that serves as an alternative to busy commercial service airports, like DFW and Love Field. The Airport Development Plan provides a snapshot of the current Airport operating environment, forecasts future activity, and identifies infrastructure needed to accommodate the Airport’s growth. Taking these steps into account, the Plan then identifies an optimal land use strategy for Airport property.Approximately $71 million in potential capital improvement projects are proposed over the next 15-20 years. After the Plan receives FAA and TxDOT Aviation approval, the City may apply for federal and state grants to cover up to 90 percent, or over $56 million of the cost of eligible capital improvement projects. While a project may be planned for a certain timeframe, grants are not awarded until growth milestones are achieved. If growth slows or does not occur as forecasted, some projects will be delayed.Like other areas in the City, the Airport is balancing growth with redevelopment. Many of the projects forecasted are required due to the age of the infrastructure, and the need to serve a different mix of aircraft than 20 years ago:
- The reconstruction of the runway, and reconstruction and widening of the east parallel taxiway represent about $18 million of the total.
- Adding a 700’ extension to the north end of the runway is estimated at $11 million; however, the extension could only be used for take-offs because the Airport sits so close to I-20. The expense may outweigh the benefit of this project.
- Construction of aircraft hangars, estimated at $4.2 million, could be removed from the Plan if private companies build enough hangars to accommodate growth in demand.