Grayson County Judge Bill Magers said it was just a little over two years ago that Grayson County, the Regional Mobility Authority and Texas Aviation Partners entered into an agreement that for the first time in North Texas Regional Airport — Perrin Field’s history saw a management company running the airport.
Magers said since that was new ground for the county and the airport, they put the contract on a two-year review schedule that allowed Texas Aviation Partners to terminate the agreement after two years and renegotiate the terms. He said TAP did that recently and the contract commissioners agreed to Tuesday was that newly negotiated one. It will take effect July 31.
TAP, Magers said, was tasked under the old contract with a number of items in addition to running the airport. The most important, he said, was to get NTRA into the Federal Aviation Administration’s Contract Tower Program. Now that NTRA is officially a candidate for that program, Magers said TAP will step back from running the airport and will continue to work at getting NRTA fully into the program. Once that has been done, he said, the management company will work with the county to access Texas Department of Transportation and FAA funds to help build a new tower at NTRA.
Magers explained the county is one of the only counties in the country that pays for its own airport without any support from the Federal Aviation Administration. The county currently puts in approximately $300,000 a year for the airport. If NTRA is in the federal program, that will be $300,000 the county can keep.
On Tuesday, Magers said NTRA is on track to join that program by the end of this year provided the county makes a list of changes and improvements needed. That list includes items like certified window shades and communications and security upgrades.
In addition to getting the airport on the list for the FAA program, Magers said NTRA has also been the subject of an upgrade to its social media and website. It has also upgraded the renting structure at the airport.
Magers said Texas Aviation Partners has worked to open the other runway at NTRA so traffic can be segregated by size.
Commissioner Jeff Whitmire said it is important to note the change means the daily operations and marketing of NTRA will be locally based.
“And I think much more responsive to potential (clients),” Whitmire said, with Magers agreeing.
Herald Democrat reporter Michael Hutchins contributed to this report.