Municipal Airport looking to expand
by Crystal Gottfried, Staff Writer
New Braunfels Municipal Airport General Manager John Holler reported that Silver State Helicopters is considering further expansion here with plans to build a gas station for planes.
The plans for a "fixed-base operations center" next to the airport terminal building are currently being developed because the airport's soon-to-be-constructed traffic control tower makes an FBO feasible.
According to Holler, the airport will be able to cater to more corporate jets and charter planes once the control tower and the new, upscale FBO are built.
Silver State originally presented the new facility as part of a $15 million expansion project that would be supported by the city of New Braunfels through a bond package, but individual council members were concerned about the cost of the project and the issue was dropped without comment.
Through the Industrial Development Corporation (4B) Board, Silver State received an agreement from the city to fund the air traffic control tower's construction plus a $1.6 million bond to expand an existing hangar and add classroom space so that Silver State can begin an air traffic control training program here.
The Federal Aviation Agency has not yet approved the tower and hangar expansion however Airport Manager Andy Spinks reported that he expected the projects to be completed by the end of August or in early September.
Holler reported that he already has ten students signed up for air traffic controller classes in New Braunfels as soon as he has the training space and he expects to have a full class of fifty students once he begins marketing the program locally.
Holler is hoping that his first class will include some Comal County high school graduates.
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