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McKinney mulls over adding passenger service to its airport

McKinney mulls over adding passenger service to its airport
McKinney mulls over adding passenger service to its airport 02:05

MCKINNEY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM)  It's no secret that thousands of people move to North Texas every year. With that growth, the City of McKinney is looking at developing a commercial passenger service as an alternative to making the trek to DFW International or Love Field.

Currently the McKinney National Airport is primarily used for cargo jets or private planes, but soon it could be home to the Metroplex's third commercial airport.

Because of the Collin County area's rapid growth, Fuller said a new terminal at its airport is needed for passengers to travel. "Commercial passenger service has always been something [we've] contemplated," said McKinney Mayor George Fuller.

City of McKinney

The city has had discussions with the FAA to bring in service from a major passenger carrier. "This is a transformative project, when you talk about an airport, commercial passenger service airport coming into an area, it's a regional impact," added Fuller.

Fuller estimates it would generate over a billion dollars of revenue to the region in its first year of operation, which could be several years away. Fuller said this is not about competing against the other airports - just keeping up with demand.

"If you look at the growth and the expected growth over the next 20 years, that growth is to the northeast of us and the northeast part of this region," said Fuller.

City of McKinney

"What we're proposing to do is develop the project on the east which is undeveloped today," said Ken Carley, McKinney National Airport's director.

The estimated cost is around $300 million dollars. Part of that funding would come from the FAA, the rest from a potential bond package which voters would have to approve.

"I think it would be a great idea to have an airport locally, that way I wouldn't have to drive to Dallas or DFW to get my sister when she visits," said McKinney resident Audrey Hair.

City of McKinney

"Im looking at relocating here and it would be just very convenient to have access to an airport that would be close to family and friends coming in," said Cathy Dodson, who was visiting McKinney. 

The likely next steps would be for the city council to place this on the upcoming May ballot, where voters will decide this project's future.

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