Runway reopens after nearly 50 years at North Texas Regional Airport

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DENISON, Tex. (KXII) - A new runway is open at the North Texas Regional Airport for the first time in nearly 50 years.

NTRA debuted the newly renovated runway Thursday after about 18 months in the works.

"This is a very historic thing, it's the first time since 1971 we had two runways open," said airport director Bob Torti. "I think it's a huge enhancement to the airport."

Torti said business has taken off recently with people moving from the south.

"Timing is just right because traffic has increased drastically at the airport over last year or so," he said.

The new runway--called 17 Right-- is 4,000 feet long. Its freshly resurfaced and newly striped exterior will host smaller aircraft, and their other 9,000 foot runway is where larger planes will touch ground.

"Primarily, it takes the larger traffic off the little runway and little traffic onto the smaller runway," explained Rural Mobility Authority chairman Robert Brady.

The renovation cost $70,000 with the county and state each paying half.

"The airport does one million dollars in revenue a year," said county judge Bill Magers. "If we move the needle 10 percent on business, this pays for itself in one year."

Tordi said the new runway is just the start of a soaring future at NTRA.

"Anytime we have excitement like this, that's huge for the county," Torti said. "It puts the whole airport in a different category."

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