Airport open day aims for future progress
Gillespie County Airport hosted an open house on Wednesday, April 13 to showcase and discuss future developments and address what some see as the facility’s shortcomings.
“The purpose of the open day is to give the public the opportunity to review and provide feedback on potential airport development concepts,” said Tony Lombardi, Airport Manager, during the opening reception. “We welcome the community today to get their input on the future of the airport as part of the planning study we are currently conducting.”
In August 2021, the airport hired Garver USA, a multidisciplinary planning and environmental engineering firm, to consult on the project. Although based in Little Rock, Arkansas, Garver has offices in San Antonio and has worked extensively in the aviation industry in Texas.
The open house allowed the community to provide feedback to all interested parties.
Jim Kent, a pilot with 45 years of experience and two planes suspended at the airport, was present at the event.
“I currently see three limitations at T-82 (Gillespie County Airport), the strong crosswinds on Runway 14/32, which may be a deterrent to less experienced pilots, the length of our runway for increased air traffic and the lack of available hangars,” Kent said.
There is currently a waiting list of 30 aircraft owners for hangar space at the airport.
Tim O’Krongley, director of aviation planning for Garver USA, said, “We started with a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis to establish a baseline for the improvement plan. fixed assets.
O’Krongley went on to describe his system for predicting projected community and airport growth so that funding needs can be accurately assessed at the right time.
Nathan Polsgrove, Aviation Planning Manager for the project, said: “We are following standard FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) guidelines, progressing through the process and are here today to show off some of the concepts. proposed that are being considered for future development. »
Tony Lombardi presented photo boards of Phase II of the airfield improvements. They include relocating taxiways to avoid runway incursions, additional tie-down points for aircraft, an expanded apron, retention ponds, and installing pipes to improve stormwater drainage.
Garver’s concept renderings of the improvements are on display in the airport terminal boardroom and will remain in the terminal lobby during construction.