Once completed, the airport will have an additional 1,200 feet of runway length and be 15 feet wider to accommodate larger jets such as a Cessna Citation XL with its 56-foot wingspan. These models are often used by those associated with the Eagle Ford Shale as well as local businesses such as Love’s Travel Stops.
The airport is currently 3,800 feet long and 60 feet wide, making the final size 5,000 feet long and 75 feet wide.
“They’ve got good size planes,” L.T. Davis, president of the Live Oak County Airport Board of Directors, said.
The airport needs to raise $500,000 locally to apply for a $5 million grant with the TxDOT Aviation Division’s Aviation Capital Improvement Plan in order to fund the expansion project.
But, it isn’t just a matter of raising the funding, the airport needed to obtain 501c3 nonprofit status; a process which took over 18 months.
“It was a tremendous amount of paperwork,” Davis said.
According to Davis, their application for nonprofit status was approved in January but they found out about two weeks ago.
Now that their 501c3 status is in place, the group has recently started gathering donations to meet the 10 percent needed in order to apply for the grant and begin construction. Davis said it will take about five years to complete the project once the funds are raised and the grant is awarded.
Davis said the project is being done in conjunction with McMullen County to meet the growing demand for local business flights.
“There are a lot of planes flying in and out, and if they have access they do a lot more business if they can get here by plane rather than driving two or three hours,” Davis said. “They just won’t come if not by plane.”