New businesses at North Texas Regional Airport helping local economy take off

By: Allison Harris Email
By: Allison Harris Email

GRAYSON COUNTY, TEXAS -- Applause filled Commissioner's Court this morning when North Texas Regional Airport officials announced their latest developments.

"U.S. Aviation has commenced its flight operations at the airport. Now they have moved their international operations here," William Retz with the North Texas Regional Airport said.

Students come from all over the world to learn here, like Rex, from China.

Right now there are already 30 pilots-in-training at the new school. That number is expected to double by the end of the month.

"When you double the number of students, you're going to come close to doubling the number of pilots," Retz said.

Just two years ago, a different flight school at the North Texas Regional Airport, The Air Safety Flight Academy, failed. Those students were sent to the U.S. Aviation school in Denton.

Now, U.S. Aviation is making the regional airport their new main base.

"They've moved about 20 airplanes. They have thirty students right now and they're flying on a regular basis," Retz said.

To be exact, they're taking off about every 80 seconds.

Each time one of those students takes off, William Retz says it generates dollars in our community.

"Impact economically per student is around $50,000 dollars," Retz said.

The second airport development announcement made Tuesday should also have positive economic impact.

Grayson County commissioners approved spending up to $1.8 million dollars to build a hangar for Texas Turbines, a company that modifies aircraft engines.

"I think the Denison-Sherman area is going to be great for future employment opportunities. We're looking to fill five more positions immediately and we plan to be anywhere from 25 employees to 40," Texas Turbines owner Kim Bishop said.

North Texas Regional Airport leaders see these kinds of developments as the future for the airport.

"I see us growing in a support role for that type of things, maintenance of aircraft, like Texas Turbines, that kind of business, the flight school, perhaps some freight, but I don't see passenger service perhaps in our immediate future," Retz said.

If you are interested in working for Texas Turbines, send your resume to

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  • by Billy Location: Denison on Jul 25, 2012 at 03:06 PM
    Oncor must be moving out there. I've seen several of their trucks coming and going from the airport in the past few weeks.
  • by Jeff on Jul 25, 2012 at 02:09 PM
    Typical grayson county politics. Those dang commissioners spend money like its going out of style.
  • by Appalled Location: 2many, Taxes on Jul 25, 2012 at 11:38 AM
    This is more promises same as all the old promises from Mike Shehan.. I echo everybody's comments except for someone saying we have to spend $500,000 to save 1 million in insurance money, and that may very well be true but does that make good sense? Maybe we should just build Mike a bigger office for economic boost, let's jusit build it somewhere else but then all the commissioners would be lost without his monthly input. Come on commissioners get a clue fix up the junk you've Got out there first!
  • by Concerned on Jul 25, 2012 at 09:16 AM
    Training foreign students to fly planes? Sounds sketchy to me. Does anyone remember 9/11 or has it already been forgotten?
    • reply
      by makes you wonder on Jul 25, 2012 at 05:38 PM in reply to Concerned
      I had the same thought
  • by Not Sure Location: Denison on Jul 25, 2012 at 05:56 AM
    Regarding Grayson County spending 1.8 million dollars to build a new hangar for Texas Turbines. TT has said they are in the process of hiring 5 new employees from our area. What are the other benefits to our area that would cause Grayson County to spend 1.8 million to build their new hangar and finance it over 20 years?
    • reply
      by Bob on Jul 25, 2012 at 08:56 AM in reply to Not Sure
      The county is not spending (they are loaning) any taxpayer money on either project. They have $1 million from an insurance claim that has to be spent at NTRA on a hanger. That money and up to an additional $500,000 loan will be recouped through a lease with the company. The County is wisely investing tax payer money (and insurance proceeds) in building a quality hanger that will be owned by the County. If the company fails the County will own the asset. The company is also putting in about $250,000 cash upfront in the deal. They have 15 employees and they are looking to hire 5 more immediatley.
      • reply
        by Still Not Sure on Jul 25, 2012 at 10:53 AM in reply to Bob
        Fair enough Bob, but I have a couple of questions. The 1 million insurance settlement is obviously not being spent on the damaged hangar, so why does it "have" to be spend on a hangar at NTRA? It is your opinion that the county is wisely investing taxpayer money, but I can assure you that "your" opinion is not shared by the masses. Maybe its time our county leaders pay attention to the greater good of Grayson County and its citizens rather than using taxpayer money for a private industry that is going to hire 5 new employess. I also assume there was an audit done on Texas Turbines to substantiate their financial wherewithal before we committed taxpayer dollars to this venture.
  • by Lee Location: Sherman on Jul 24, 2012 at 07:43 PM
    Uggg...we've been fed this line before. Spending tax dollars on a "big business" at the airport. What happened to the flight control school, or Bell Helicopter, or..... airline and airline support companies are known to fail, even the Sherman Airport is up for being closed. I think there is a better way to spend out tax dollars.
    • reply
      by ADOLF on Jul 25, 2012 at 07:13 AM in reply to Lee
      When the new business goes under, the rich in the area with planes will have a big new hangar to park their planes at the expence of the tax payers. Just like the highway from Dallas to Pottsboro so the rich can get their big boats to the lake quicker, at the expence of the tax payer. Same game new players don't you think ???????
      • reply
        by Same players on Jul 25, 2012 at 09:48 AM in reply to ADOLF
        Its actually the same players spending tax dollars for private investment and Drue Bynum is the leader of the pack. Mr. Bynum needs to be in the private sector, so maybe we can help him out with that in two years.
  • by Confused Location: Denison on Jul 24, 2012 at 05:21 PM
    So Grayson County is going to spend 1.8 million dollars to build a new hangar for a private business that is going to hire 5 new employees from our area. What other benefit will this private business bring to our county that would entice our politicians to spend 1.8 million dollars to build this new facility?
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