NTRA's candidacy for federal program means more flights and funding
The North Texas Regional Airport control tower was just promoted to candidate for the federal control tower program, which would fund the airport and save taxpayers $300,000 annually.
Congressman John Ratcliffe came to Grayson County commissioner's court Tuesday to announce the big step.
"It's actually fantastic news for NTRA to be at candidate status for the federal contract tower program," Ratcliffe. "It's going mean immeasurable benefits."
Getting in the federal control tower program is something the county applied for years back, and something county judge Bill Magers has been pushing for since his election.
"You move from minor league airport to major league airport," Magers explained. "People that wouldn't give you the time of day before are now gonna consider your airport."
Right now the county spends $300,000 to keep the tower up each year. But the federal government would not only take on that expense, they would nearly double it.
"NTRA would receive approximately $550,000, which will actually allow for expanded airport hours and operations," Ratcliffe said.
That extra cost would turn the current Monday-Friday 8-5 schedule into a 24 hour a day manned control tower with a radar open all year long.
Ratcliffe said it'll be a good incentive for businesses thinking about calling Grayson County home.
"It will allow business that want to relocate here and expand here to take that into consideration," Ratcliffe said. "It'll have really a great benefit to these folks in a long period of time."
The county still has to get the tower up to FAA standards after it's accepted into the program.