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McKinney Looking To Become The Home Of DFW’s Third Commercial Airport

An economic impact study estimates the project could create thousands of jobs and $1 billion in economic impact by 2040
Bond Committee Presentation.2022.10.12-49_page-0001
All photos courtesy of the city of McKinney

On November 9, 2022, McKinney’s airport bond committee will hold its third meeting to explore the possibility of adding commercial services to the McKinney National Airport. Currently, the airport is primarily used for cargo jets and private planes, but, as previously reported by Local Profile, the city hopes to become the home of DFW’s third commercial airport.

Mayor George Fuller told CBSDFW that McKinney is not trying to compete with the Love Field and DFW International airports. Instead, it’s trying to keep up with demand. Collin County’s rapid growth makes it the best place to add a third commercial airport in the area. Similarly populated areas like San Francisco and Boston count five airports, while North Texas only has two.

According to a presentation introduced in the first committee meeting, the city has been in talks with the Federal Aviation Administration since the fall of 2021 and during the briefings, the city requested for FAA to grant funding for the project.

The improvements to the airport would include a six to eight-lane freeway with frontage roads and improved connectivity between eastern Collin County and southern McKinney.

The Dallas Business Journal reported that an economic impact study conducted by Vancourver-based InterVISTAS Consulting found that the airport could create 1,040 direct jobs in its first year alone, while commercial operations could support over 3,200 jobs in total with wages amounting to $265 million. In this optimistic report, the airport would end up generating $850 million in economic activity plus $115 million in tax revenue.

While a more conservative projection expects the total economic impact to amount to $615 million, 2,780 jobs and $207 million in wages, both studies count on half a million enplanements once the commercial terminal opens. Early estimates like the ones shown in the October 12 presentation, expect 4 to 20 daily departures.

Although the city hasn’t closed any agreements with any airlines, Assistant City Manager Barry Shelton told the Dallas Business Journal that many carriers have expressed interest in the plan, which has helped move the project forward. 

The bond committee will make a recommendation on February 2023 as to whether or not to call for a bond election in May and if so, how much is expected to rise.