5 things to know about the NTRA terminal project

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
Regional leaders officially broke ground on the new terminal building at North Texas Regional Airport Monday. New new $3.7 million project will provide modernized services to the airport and its business clients.

For many years, North Texas Regional Airport has been called Grayson County's diamond in the rough. The former Air Force base could be polished into a prime asset to the region if given the right resources, time and development. 

Regional leaders took one step closer to polishing that diamond Monday during a groundbreaking for a new terminal building, which will serve as the face of the airport for years to come.

Construction equipment sits at the site of the future NTRA terminal building. Officials broke ground on a new terminal which they hope will help take the airport to a higher level and attract business clients and interest.

Here are five things to know about the project:

1. An modernization of airport services

Representatives with Grayson County, NTRA and other partners officially broke ground Monday on a new 10,000 square-foot building which will serve as the new terminal for the airport. The building will replace a 1980s-era terminal which was demolished earlier this year to make way for the new terminal complex.

I addition to service as the new home for airport operations, the building will also house fixed-based operations for Rise Aviation. As the airport's FBO, Rise provides support services, hangar services and other amenities for aviators and airplane owners. 

2. Rise Aviation's stake in the project

The project is being headed and financed by Rise, who announced the project in late 2019 and formalized plans last year. Livezey said the project benefits the FBO provider in that it upgrades its space away from the 4,500 square-foot, 1950s-era military building that currently serves as its home.

The current building doesn't have the capacity to fill some modern aviation needs and services that a modern building would. This would allow the FBO to compete with services from other airports in the region.

3. Financing the $3.7 million project

Grayson County Judge Bill Magers said that the region will benefit from the $3.7 million project with no cost to taxpayers as Rise will be financing the project. Magers said the county will continue to have an interest in the airport, and support projects that have a public need, including infrastructure and grant efforts. However, the real estate development of the hangar will not have county financial involvement, he said.

Instead, the county will continue to participate from the standpoint of a property owner and will support the Grayson County Regional Mobility Authority in its oversight efforts, Magers said.

4. Regional benefits

Both Magers and Livezey said modern aviation business demands for a quality terminal building and that it is simply a cost of doing business today. By building the new terminal, the airport could position itself to attract higher-end business travel and traffic.

Livezey noted that there is a benefit to both parties in combining resources and efforts. By positioning both buildings together, they can share common spaces such as lounges, entrances and  open space. This will allow for more efficient use of space and open it for other services and uses.

5. Continued development

Despite the celebrations that took place Monday, the diamond at the heart of Grayson County hasn't been fully  polished quite yet.  Both Livezey and Magers noted that other projects aimed at increasing the profile of the airport are in development for future construction.

Among these efforts are the revitalization of the west side of the airport and restoration of some of its buildings, Magers said. Other efforts include the construction of a larger executive-style hangar that could house larger corporate jets and attract other high-end business. Development is also ongoing on the creation of additional hangar space, which is a constant need, Livezey said.

Officials said the terminal construction should take about 11 months to complete.