Bryan's Coulter Airfield Looking To Extend Runway

By: Rashi Vats Email
By: Rashi Vats Email

Landing in the red is something Bryan's Coulter Airfield has been trying to avoid for several years.

Since the city started managing the airport in April of 2010, it's been losing money.

Instead of closing or selling the airport, the city recommends the airport keep growing and expanding.

"There are many aircraft owners that wish to be out at Coulter Airfield but, because we have such a short runway, they are not able to, or they are here, and they are not able to take off with full fuel. That decreases our revenue because they are not buying as much fuel here," said Cortney Harris, the Coulter Airfield Director.

The city is looking into increasing the 4,000 feet runway by 1,000 feet, and that would allow faster aircraft like jets to use the airport.

"It will allow more diverse type of aircraft into Coulter Airfield and, with the diverse aircraft, we will also see increased revenue," said Harris.

"We don't need bigger jets blowing over our house," said Vicki Mercer who lives in a neighborhood called Vintage Hills right next to the airport.

The mother of three isn't in favor of the expansion.

" Our quality of life would definitely be lowered if we have jets flying over our property regularly. The noise factor, the safety factor. Our property value in general would go down, and that's not why we moved out here," said Mercer.

Meanwhile Harris says if expansion is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, the runway would probably expand 600 feet to the north and 400 feet to the south of the runway to create as little impact on the surrounding community. That expansion would cost $2 million. The city would apply for grants from the Texas Department of Transportation, which could reduce the cost for Bryan to $200,000.

The city is also looking at increasing the hangar prices by 30% to 70%.
If approved by TX DOT, the city says the runway would be built in the next 5 to 10 years.

Coulter Airfield opened in east Bryan in 1938.

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