Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wichita Falls Regional Airport (KSPS) Officials Optimistic About Its Future

Wichita Falls, TX - Since the Wichita Falls Regional Airport opened its doors last December, its has taken on a couple of thousand new passengers and a couple of new projects.

The airport shared with Sheppard Air Force Base may not see the amount of traffic large airports receive, but Texomans are taking advantage of its use. 

Airport officials tell Newschannel 6 since the first flight jetted out of its new terminal they have seen an average of about 4,000 passengers each month. 

"So that's translating into just over 43,000 passengers a year for us just on the scheduled airline," said John Burrus, Director of Aviation, Traffic & Transportation.  

"One of the other things that we're seeing too is because of the new facility, we're attracting more charter flights are coming in."

While the specialty flights are the main focus right now, Burrus said he does not go a day without someone asking, 'When the airport will get a second airline?'

Burrus said that he has had talks with a couple of airlines, but nothing has panned out so far. 

"We think that's probably the best way to grow our market right now is through charter activity and at the same time keep our fingers on the pulse of what other airlines are looking at as far as a market," said Burrus. 

In anticipation for future growth, the airport continues to grow. Two projects are currently underway, a restaurant/full-service bar and reconstruction of a taxiway that is more than 50 years old. 

"Taxiway C which ties two aprons, the general aviation, and commercial apron," said Burrus.

Airport officials said construction on the restaurant/bar is expected to be complete by Nov. 5, but reconstructing a new taxiway will take anywhere from 12 to 14 months.

The airport will be fully operational throughout the construction process. Four flights will depart and arrive at the airport each day. 

As for the cost of all this, a majority is covered by funding provided by the FAA, but Burrus says Wichita Falls Regional Airport does see a profit. So future revenue obtained will go back into the airport for improvement projects. 

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