May 1, 2023 - Election

McKinney bond proposal would add third passenger airport to region

Don't want to drive to DFW? This could be in Collin County soon. Rendering: Courtesy of City of McKinney

McKinney voters will decide whether to approve a $200 million bond package for the design and construction of a 144,000-square-foot passenger terminal at the city's airport.

Why it matters: Collin County is one of the fastest-growing counties in the country, and an estimated 1.1 million passengers from the area would be closer to McKinney National Airport than either DFW Airport or Dallas Love Field.

State of play: McKinney built the airport in 1979 and approved a master plan in 2012 that included the goal of creating a commercial terminal.

  • The airport currently serves corporate fleets, including Texas Instruments and Toyota, and privately owned planes.

Details: The city estimates the passenger terminal would add up to 3,280 jobs to the region and bring in up to $115 million in local, state and federal taxes.

Zoom out: Chicago, Boston and San Francisco are among the metro areas with three or more commercial airports.

  • San Francisco's metro area, including Oakland and San Jose, has five commercial airports, including three international airports.
A rendering of a proposed passenger terminal at McKinney National Airport
A rendering of the inside of the terminal. Courtesy: City of McKinney

What they're saying: Private developers have already expressed interest in building a freight terminal if voters don't approve the bond measure, which would give the city oversight of the passenger terminal.

  • "This is not an election to decide will there be planes or will there not be planes," McKinney Mayor George Fuller tells Axios. "This election decides are we going to get behind the steering wheel."

The other side: Fairview and Lucas elected officials oppose the expansion of the airport, saying their nearby communities would be negatively affected by traffic and noise.

  • "To me, they're putting the cart before the horse. They should have done a study about what is the impact regionally," Lucas Mayor Jim Olk told WFAA.

Yes, but: McKinney is conducting an environmental impact study that would have to be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration before bonds could be issued for construction.

  • Preliminary analysis shows the loudest areas would be confined to city-owned property at and around the airport. And there are no residences within 2,000 feet of the airfield, unlike Addison Airport and Love Field.

What's next: Early voting ends Tuesday. Election day is Saturday.


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