The Aviation Committee and Planners discussed the master plan for Bruce Brothers Huntsville Regional Airport last Tuesday— also known as the Huntsville Municipal Airport.
“In March 2018, [Huntsville] and H.W. Lochner entered into an agreement, with TxDOT acting as agent, for the preparation of the Huntsville Municipal Airport,” according to the Master Plan.
“Airport master plans are designed to evaluate existing airport conditions, identify and assess the impacts of future aviation demand and provide the city with information and direction in the continued short and long term operation, development and planning of the airport,” Lochner project manager Sadie Robb said.
Airport plans should be updated every seven to ten years. The last master plan update for Huntsville Municipal Airport was completed in 2003.
The master plan update will be funded by the City of Huntsville, which will receive a grant from the Texas Department of Transportation Aviation Division. The plan aims to further develop the terminals, create more hangars to store aircrafts and acquire land to increase the runway, according to the master plan.
Improvements to the airport are required to match peak operations because the City of Huntsville predicts an increase in the demand of aviation services. Peak hourly passenger activity is expected to increase from 24 to 44 passengers within the next 20 years, according to the plan.
In order to adjust to the evolving technology and requirements of safety features for airports, it is vital to periodically check the current conditions of an airport to ensure that they follow FAA and TxDOT standards, according to Robb.
There are also environmental benefits to updating the plan.
“Updating the master plan helps the city identify infrastructure, such as fuel storage tanks, mobile refueling trucks, maintenance practices, etc., that needs to be updated in order to minimize the likelihood of an impact on the soils or groundwater,” Robb said.
Huntsville can look forward to several great benefits such as increased income, education and new businesses, according to Robb.
A higher volume of aircrafts could result in pilots enjoying the many amenities Huntsville has to offer while they are visiting, according to Robb. Robb also states that certain companies are more reluctant to start business in locations that will not allow their company jets.
The master plan could also provide educational opportunities to those interested in becoming a pilot.
The master plan update can provide a safe facility for flight instructors, given the facility’s design updates meets the Federal Aviation Association’s and Texas Department of Transportation’s design standards, according to Robb.
This is only one step to a multi-step process in the Huntsville Municipal Airport Master Plan.