Calhoun County Airport Receives Most Improved Airport Award for The State of Texas

May 15, 2009 Awards

By John Verser
Published: Friday, May 15, 2009
The Calhoun County Airport was named the most improved airport in the state at the 27th annual Texas Aviation Conference held in Austin earlier this week.

“For the Calhoun County Airport to receive this honor is overwhelming considering the number of wonderful airports that there are in the state of Texas,” said Dianna Stanger, airport manager. “Our county realized it had a valuable, underutilized airport and it was important to raise it to a level that the residents would be proud of.

“In doing so the airport has now managed to become a recognized asset to the state of Texas as well. It is nice to be working with a county that has the vision and scope that ours has.”

The Texas Department of Transportation’s Aviation Division said the airport made efforts to make the facility a “valued asset” to the community in its press release that announced the achievement.

“It’s a great honor for the community,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Vern Lyssy said. “It’s a prestigious award that this town needs. It actually makes things a lot easier when we go up there asking for money and grants. It’s a process that’s brought the airport back up to speed.”

Lyssy said recent improvements to the airport include: a 24-hour fueling system, a new roof and new siding for the hanger, a new rotating beacon, landscaping in front of the entrance and a remodeled hangar. He added that the airport is currently in a $3 million grant to overlay the runway and the taxiway. The airport is in the engineering phase this year, and will begin the construction phase of the grant next year.

“We’ve worked hard on this,” Lyssy said. “The employees, the FBO, everyone – it’s been a team effort.”

Other amenities at the airport include the ability to rent a plane and its flight school. The airport also hosts two public events a year, including one for school children each May.

“It is not just the physical assets that make an airport a valuable partner in the community,” Dave Fulton, TxDOT Aviation Director, said in a press release.

Lyssy said that one of the biggest reasons to keep the airport in tip-top shape was tourism. He said that “roughly 60 percent” of those that fly into the airport do so to fish or hunt.

“They’re coming in to spend money in our community,” he said. “That’s generating revenue without having to tax.”

Future plans for the airport include more space to park planes and additional hangars.

“It’s getting better and better,” Lyssy said.

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