Airports

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Collin County Regional Airport (TKI) – McKinney, TX

Background

September 1, 2008

North of Dallas, Collin County Regional Airport (TKI) in McKinney, TX, is increasingly favored by businesses of all sizes for its expanding services and freedom from the congestion of the region’s larger airports.

Recently, two companies based in the Dallas metro area, Texas Instruments and EDS, moved their flight operations to TKI, one of the few totally new general aviation airports built in recent years.

"We relocated to McKinney from a larger airport. There are real benefits to being based at McKinney," said Scott Miller, aviation department manager of EDS. "Just by virtue of our location, we can avoid delays."

To prime the economic growth that accompanies a successful airport, the City of McKinney, which owns the airport, and the McKinney Economic Development Corporation are working to attract business aviation, service providers and adjacent commercial development. The public investment is paying off. The Texas Department of Transportation (DOT) estimates that McKinney contributes $79.5 million and 446 jobs to the state economy.

"Economically, the metropolitan area is developing to the north," said NBAA Regional Representative Steve Hadley, "And McKinney is expanding to meet that development." On behalf of business aviation, Hadley worked to support McKinney’s expansion from the beginning. He helped coordinate efforts by city officials, airport managers and tenants to promote airport development.

Hadley works closely with airport executive director Ken Wiegand, who was recently named Reliever Airport Manager of the Year by the Texas DOT.

For Wiegand, successful airport expansion planning means conducting good community relations and ensuring that all stakeholders’ voices are heard.

"I was asked to speak last fall at a new retirement community that was recently built a mile off our south field boundary," Wiegand said. "We knew the reception might not be smooth, despite the long-standing noise abatement program the airport has in place. We arrived to see an audience of over 350 people waiting to ask questions, and we spent nearly three hours answering each one. This kind of effort goes a long way in converting residents to airport supporters."

The airport plans to break ground soon on a new runway that will enhance airport operational safety and efficiency by providing runway-taxiway separation and increased weight-bearing capacity. A new control tower will soon replace an existing wooden structure that was hauled over to McKinney from Alliance Airport in the early 1990s.

"These enhancements will make McKinney an even more attractive destination in the future," said Miller. "With those enhancements in place, I could certainly see more flight departments moving out to McKinney."