TXDOT grant funds airport maintenance and development

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GRAYSON COUNTY, TEXAS -- North Texas Regional Airport is focusing on the ground, instead of the sky.

With their new RAMP grant money from TXDOT Aviation, the airport will re-pave its runways.

"It's a 50/50 grant. Fifty cents on the dollar. For every dollar we spend, we get fifty cents reimbursed from the state of Texas," Airport Director Mike Shahan said.

Over the past 12 years, TXDOT Aviation has given the airport about $400,000 dollars for maintenance, to update runway lights, security gates and other necessities.

This year, that money is fixing pavement.

"We have about 150 acres of pavement we have to maintain. We have a small budget for that type of maintenance, for that type of facility, so every dollar counts," Shahan said.

The grant asks beneficiaries to spend the money on airside maintenance first and foremost, listing pavement maintenance as the top work item.

One of the areas they're paving is around the new hangar they're building for Texas Turbines.

"They're going to build their own aircraft parking ramp and so forth, and they're going to tie it to an existing hangar but there's about 75 feet there that we need to re-address," Shahan said.

Back in July, county commissioners approved spending $1.8 million dollars to build that hangar.

Today, airport directors met with engineers to review designs for the new hangar.

"We're interviewing three engineering companies to oversee the hangar-build project that we're going to be doing," Shahan said.

But Airport Director Mike Shahan says that, for airports, doing routine maintenance, like re-paving runways, is what makes the area more marketable to aircraft companies, like Texas Turbines.

"The most important things, besides our runways and our tenants, is the runways and the taxiways. It's the pavement on the ground," Shahan said.

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