The North Texas Regional Airport-Perrin Field has been on a search for ways to expand and grow into an economic hub for Texoma. With luck, Grayson County’s diamond in the rough may have more traffic soon from a fleet of aircraft unlike what it normally sees.

The North Texas Regional Airport-Perrin Field has been on a search for ways to expand and grow into an economic hub for Texoma. With luck, Grayson County’s diamond in the rough may have more traffic soon from a fleet of aircraft unlike what it normally sees.


Last week, the Commemorative Air Force narrowed its search for its new headquarters to three Texas-based airports. The three finalists include the Dallas Executive Airport, Ellington Field Airport in Houston, and NTRA.


In October, the CAF condensed its list of potential headquarters from over 25 to 6. In November, members of the CAF gave the Board of Directors authority to select a final location for the CAF National Airbase.


The Commemorative Air Force, which was created in 1957 as the Confederate Air Force, is a nonprofit organization based out of Midland. The group focuses on preserving, showing and educating about historical aircraft through air shows and the American Airpower Heritage Museum, located in Midland. The museum is not expected to be affected by the potential move.


The airshows, which show off the organizations 160 vintage aircraft, bring in between 10,000 and 100,000 visitors each, depending on the show, said CAF President Steve Brown.


NTRA has been working with CAF in the search for over 6 months, said NTRA Project Manager Bill Retz.


While Retz is optimistic about the impact the group would have on the NTRA, he cautions not to celebrate too early.


"We are still in a competition," said Retz.


In finalizing its candidates for the new Airbase, CAF chose airports that are a part of a community of at least 1 million people, and are accessible to tourists, said Brown.


Retz said he feels that NTRA has other advantages in its bid to court the organization, including non-congested airspace outside of the boundary of DFW. In addition, Retz said the 50 acres of paved concrete in the airport was a feature that would be an advantage to the CAF. "That is a tremendous advantage to an organization that needs a large parking area," said Retz.