Business Aviation Airport Nearly Complete in Houston

A developer for a new business aviation airport located between Katy and Brookshire said the facility has largely been completed ahead of schedule and is awaiting clients.

Construction on Houston Executive Airport, north of Interstate 10 and west of FM 2855 in Waller County, began last November and is partially open, owner Ron Henriksen said. The official opening is expected in the first quarter of 2007.

"It's amazing what we have accomplished out there," said Andrew Perry, airport executive director. "We have basically built this airport in a year, and that's unheard of."

They discussed plans at an Oct. 26 business development committee meeting of the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce.

Henriksen, a Houston businessman, bought a 1,980-acre rice field near the Igloo Factory and I-10 to develop as an airport.

"The contractor asked for 400 days to complete the work, and the weather has been good enough to allow us to do it in 250 days," Henriksen said.

The airport is pre-leasing hangars.

One year after opening, the facility is projected to have 25 T-hangars, one community hangar, one corporate hangar and an airport park. Aircraft will include 18-30 based planes with 45 operations a day.

"We hope to meet these projections, but we've got a lot of work to do," Perry said.

The runway has been painted, drainage ditches are in place, and the electrical work is being completed, he said.

"Once we have finished with the electrical work, we're ready to go," he said.

Frank Lombard, chairman of the business development committee, said the airport would serve the growing business community, and he called it "a fabulous asset for the Katy area that's rapidly taking shape."

The airport is being built in phases. It replaces Air Rice, a private airport built in 1962, primarily used for crop-dusters.

Phase 1, expected to cost between $30 million and $35 million, will cover 191 acres, and future phases will be built out as demand warrants. Plans call for lengthening the 4,500-foot runway to 7,000 feet. A second runway may be added later.



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