VZCRA soaring to new heights

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Courtesy photo Heavy equipment has been in action at the Van Zandt County Regional Airport in recent months for the latest improvement project. The airport, which has already seen the installation of a terminal building and fuel tank, is currently in the midst of a runway overlay project.

By David Kapitan

Staff Writer

The Van Zandt County Regional Airport has been a hive of activity in recent years, growing and blossoming with the addition of fuel tanks, a new terminal building, a growing events calendar and, lately, the start of work on a runway overlay project.

Efforts for the revitalization began in earnest back in 2007, with the Wills Point EDC forming an Airport Advisory Board to conduct an assessment of the airport, focusing on future growth and demand of the community.

Those initial efforts led to the pursuit of grant funding which eventually helped pave the way for a beautification project that helped add striping to the runway and the replacement of the airport’s lighting system.

Thanks to those efforts, the airport would go on to receive the Most Improved General Aviation Airport at the 30th Annual Texas Aviation Conference in Galveston in 2012.

In 2013, the airport entered another chapter of infrastructure upgrades with the installation of a fuel tank, and installation of a card reader made possible by funding received from a Capital Improvement Grant administered by the Texas Department of Transportation.

In November 2014, the airport added a terminal building that now serves as the base of operations for both the Wills Point EDC and Wills Point Chamber of Commerce.

The latest upgrades being conducted at the VZCRA, made possible through another TxDOT grant, began on Feb. 3 of this year with work beginning on a runway overlay project that is designed to not only repair the pavement currently in use, but also includes the reconstruction of the runway apron.

Despite the best efforts of contractors, work has been delayed periodically throughout the project due to the wild weather that East Texas has experienced throughout the first half of 2015.

Pam Pearson, VZCRA Manager, announced earlier this week that those weather-related delays have led the Airport Advisory Board to cancel this year’s Airport Open House and Fly-In scheduled for October. Inclement weather also led to the cancellation of last year’s fly-in event. 

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