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Rise Aviation gives update on NTRA terminal

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
Rise Aviation gave an update on plans to build a new terminal building at North Texas Regional Airport. [courtesy photo]

Officials with Grayson County Regional Mobility Authority received progress updates on two major construction projects, including the construction of a new terminal, at North Texas Regional Airport this week.

The update comes nearly one year to the date since the the RMA announced a ground lease agreement with Rise Aviation for the construction of a new $2.5 million airport terminal.

“The terminal is going to be 100 percent us with Rise Aviation funding that,” said Rise Aviation General Manager Mike Livezey who serves as NTRA airport manager.

In late 2019, Rise Aviation announced plans to build a new 11,000-square-foot terminal that will replace the existing terminal building.

“If you can demonstrate you have a world-class terminal building and FBO (fixed-based operator) ... you can become more attractive,” RMA Chairman Robert Brady said in 2019

The building will include offices, administration and FBO support services for the airport. Future expansions could add hangar space to the building.

“With the current FBO there is no air-side access from the FBO terminal,” Livezey said in 2019. ”... They have to deplane, they have to down down and walk through a hangar to get to the lobby. We want to have a first class facility that will be the current standard in our industry. The current facility, while nice, isn’t what it needs to be.”

Now, one year later Livezey said the project is almost ready to bid. Over the coming days, he and officials with Rise will finalize design plans and prepare the bid packet, which will be released next week.

“We’ve hired a design team to do our interior design,” Livezey said. “Last Friday was the last meeting to finish those design changes.”

One of the last steps will be finalizing the electrical system and finalizing interior design drawings.

“Today the final drawings from the interior designers will be given to the architects,” Livezey said Friday morning.

Under current designs for the building, the second floor, which will primarily be offices, will not be built out. Instead, this phase will be completed at a later date.

Former US Aviation terminal gets a facelift

In other matters, Livezey said the renovations to the former US Aviation hangar have made significant progress.

Earlier this year, US Aviation Academy, a flight school and long-time tenant of the airport, announced its departure from NTRA. At the time, officials with the school announced plans to condense its operations at its Denton location.

Shortly after, Livezey said that the the airport was in negotiations with a new tenant for the space. Earlier this summer these negotiations were completed with Rise Aviation, who plan to use the space to expand its hangar space.

“The FBO has leased this to increase its aircraft storage capacity and bring more aircraft to NTRA,” Livezey said.

Among the improvements to the site was resurfacing of the hangar floor, which was previously just cement. Livezey said office space is also being arranged and other interior improvements are being made.

Livezey said current plans call for the RMA’s maintenance provider to lease out about half of the hangar space and move operation to the new facility.

Despite the hangar being put back into use, Livezey said there has been little movement of the former flight school’s office and classroom space.

Livezey said it is a harder property to market, noting that it would be hard to fit anything other than another flight school there.

“That building is not laid out well for anything other than classroom space,” Livezey said. “It was in need of a lot of work.”

Prior to its departure, US Avation explored options for renovating the building to meet its needs. However, the cost of the project outweighed the value of the building, he said.

Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at mhutchins@heralddemocrat.com.