NTRA prepares for three major aerobatic championships

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DENISON, TEXAS -- The North Texas Regional Airport is gearing up for three major aerobatic championships on their runway, the first of which kicks off next week.

"Well the first one is the Lone Star Aerobatic Championships and it starts next Thursday evening and it'll run all day Friday through part of Saturday," Airport Director Mike Shahan said.

Hundreds of pilots and plane-fanatics will descend on Grayson County for the Lone Star competition, as well as for Nationals in September and the Worlds in October.

"So this is our year for aerobatic championships," Shahan said.

People at the airport are ecstatic -- and busy.

"We mow the grass, we make the airport look really nice, we change the wind socks so they're nice and bright orange. We just make sure everything is clean and ready to go," Shahan said.

Terry Vogel with Texoma Jet Center is looking forward to the publicity.

"It's very exciting for us financially because it's going to increase fuel sales, it'll increase activity here at the airport, it'll give everyone more awareness of what's available out here," Vogel said.

So far, 65 pilots from 17 different countries are registered for the Worlds.

"Australia, Austria, we've already had a pilot from Japan here practicing. They're a list of them. There's a whole lot of them," Shahan said.

But that diversity is already causing one unexpected problem -- a language barrier.

"A lot of them aren't going to speak English, they're not going to read English, so I'm hoping they'll have translators," Vogel said.

Shahan encourages the public to come out and watch the skies during each of these three major events.

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