By Chris Sasser
Texas A&M Transportation Institute
After opening for business in 2011, Goldthwaite Municipal Airport (T37) continues to build upon its humble beginnings. Goldthwaite is located in Central Texas, about 40 miles southeast of Brownwood.
The airport recently completed construction on 10 T-hangars, a hangar apron, access road and garage storage area for a courtesy car.
“After we initially opened the airport, we heard from the pilot community that we needed fuel, we needed lights and we needed hangars,” said Goldthwaite City Manager Robert Lindsey. “The first thing we wanted to do was solidify our partnership with the golf course (which sits adjacent to the airport) and create a fly-in golfing experience to attract visitors to our area. We also built our terminal building in 2011, which is a multi-use facility, with support from TxDOT Aviation. It’s used for golfing events and other community activities. People who fly in have access to a clean facility with Wi-Fi, restrooms and a kitchen we are finishing. We want to expose non-aviation people to aviation and vice versa.”
Currently, the airport has commitments for six of the hangars with interest in three more.
“Obviously the commitments to the hangars before the project was complete shows that the demand was here,” said Lindsey. “The next steps for the airport are self-service fuel and lights, which will logically occur when we rehabilitate our 3,200-foot runway in a few years.”
In addition to golfers, the airport also sees air traffic from hunters and other private pilots who enjoy visiting the Hill Country.
Any advice for other towns looking to build an airport from the ground up?
“Stay patient, gather community support and use your available resources,” said Lindsey. “This airport is an economic magnet for this community. It is the most valuable one-mile of paved road in the county.”