If the Kerrville-Kerr County Airport is to grow and prosper, it will need investment in new hangars and infrastructure to support an influx of aircraft — some already on a waiting list to land.
A new strategic plan calls for the addition of 10 T-hangars, which accommodate small planes. The airport also needs hangars for larger airplanes and to improve its marketing and promotion.
“Without T-hangars, you won’t have much of an airport,” said Jim Mans, a member of the Kerrville-Kerr County Joint Airport Board, who gave a portion of Monday’s strategic plan presentation to members of the Kerrville City Council and Kerr County Commissioners Court.
The joint meeting took place at the Hill Country Youth Event Center and provided city and county leaders an opportunity to ask questions about the plan, but mostly they just listened.
The plan covers an aerial view of the next five years and focuses on economic development, infrastructure and financing, airport promotion and marketing and service level improvements.
There already is positive movement at the airport, including a waiting list of people looking to rent T-hangars.
Airport officials said that investment in the airport is critical, because it can continue to help the region’s economic output.
With $17.5 million a year in direct economic impact, airport officials said hangar rentals likely would attract more people to the area.
Adding larger box hangars, which accommodate larger airplanes, also is a priority.
Another project the airport board is looking to put together is the renovation and leasing of the Horseshoe Building.
The building, formerly the property of Mooney Aircraft, is a little bit rough around the edges, but with a bit of touching up, it could be leased to an aircraft-related business that could bring more people to the area, said Bill Wood, president of the airport board.
“That could be a real nice business opportunity,” Wood said. “We’ve had two or three folks come by and say, ‘Hey, I’ve got this maintenance business that I want to put in here. What can you do for me?’”
But it definitely needs improvement before leasing, said Precinct 2 Commissioner Tom Moser.
“The wings (of the building) are — pardon my French — a piece of crap,” Moser said. “They just need to be gotten rid of.”
The strategic plan also involves promoting and marketing the airport, particularly when it comes to the website. This is important in the eyes of Mans.
“We are an asset to the community and we need to promote the airport a little bit more to the general public so that they can appreciate what we have and participate in the assets that we have,” he said.
No decisions were made at the informational meeting. Meeting members also discussed potential topics for future joint county and city meetings.