COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp and other officials broke ground Wednesday on a new terminal at the Easterwood Airport in College Station, as part of a $10.5 million airport renovation project.
The new Fixed Base Operations, or FBO, terminal will include improvements that will turn the aged facility into a world-class regional airport that serves the general aviation community and one of the nation’s top research universities.
The facility, which has not seen much updating since its development in the 1950s, will get improved hangar storage that will meet the needs of the current aviation market and an increasing number of passengers who do business in the College Station community.
The Texas A&M University System owns Easterwood Airport – which is named in honor of U.S. Navy Lt. Jesse Easterwood, a former A&M student and WWI veteran who was killed in a plane crash – but it is operated by Astin Aviation. The College Station-based company has committed to investing more than $6.5 million in improvements. Besides the new hangars and a new FBO terminal, other improvements will include the new rapid fueling site that is expected to attract more military helicopter traffic to the airport.
“The planned improvements will give the terminal a more modern front door to the A&M community,” Chancellor John Sharp said. “We can expect a genuinely better experience for corporate, private and military customers at the new facility, but let’s also not forget that the improvements will bring more revenue to the System-owned airport.”
A wide rangeof activity occurs on the FBO side of the airfield including: flight lessons, athletic charters, military training and business aviation. Last year, the entire airport hosted more than 32,000 operations, including 12,000 military training operations and another 12,000 general aviation flights. System officials and Astin executives expect to see the number of operations increase after construction is completed next year.
The improvements at the FBO will occur as the main terminal at the Easterwood Airport undergoes its own enhancements.
The $4 million renovation project at the main terminal will give the airport a more professional look, café services after the security checkpoint, a TSA Pre-Check option for the frequent travelers, more comfortable seating options with power outlets and dedicated men and women restrooms.
About The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $4.2 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities and seven state agencies, the Texas A&M System educates more than 148,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $972 million in FY 2016 and helped drive the state’s economy.
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