Last spring, aviation enthusiasts from Wise County along with Bridgeport city officials gathered at the municipal airport (KXBP), celebrating extensive improvements that have been in the works for years.
Finally, the airport’s only runway was extended from 4,000 to 5,000 feet, the parallel taxiway was relocated, the apron and cross taxiways were overlaid and improved runway lights were installed.
The multi-million dollar grant project allows Bridgeport —with a current population of about 6,000 — to provide a runway long enough for jet traffic, now and in the future.
“We would not have been able to do this without the help of TxDOT,” Bridgeport Airport Manager Ryan Nolting says. “We needed these improvements to make sure we stay competitive. We have to continue to look forward, otherwise we fall behind.”
Currently, 56 planes are housed at the airport, meeting the needs of local aviators. Because it has only one runway, the airport was closed for business for nearly a year, as renovations were underway — mostly because of severe weather.
“Since we’ve reopened, we’ve already seen an increase in traffic. And we don’t want to stop here. We’ve got other plans for the future.” Nolting says.
Now, the primary goal is an upgraded and expanded fuel farm that will include jet fuel.
Pointing to available hangar space, a pilot lounge and a courtesy car, Nolting wants aviators to come visit Bridgeport, and make it their home. “We now have what corporations need to consider us, and we are optimistic that we will grow. We want people to come and enjoy our area,” he says.
For more information, email Ryan Nolting at [email protected].