Texas - February 15, 2012 - Passenger airports in Texas joined forces today in San Antonio, announcing the formation of the Texas Commercial Airports Association (TCAA) to collaborate on airport issues which will support new economic development and benefit travelers in the state.
"By coming together as an organization, the passenger airports in Texas can speak through one clear, strong voice," said Mario Diaz, Director of the Houston Airport System and TCAA Chairman. "Collectively, we believe we have greater influence than any one of our airports can have individually."
Texas airports with commercial flights serve more than 135 million passengers annually. Today's news conference brought a key audience together as the press conference was held in conjunction with the 7th annual Texas Transportation Forum. The formation of the TCAA means that for the first time, airports serving commercial passengers in Texas have joined forces to work on issues of mutual interest.
"San Antonio International, and all Texas airports face numerous challenges in regards to funding, security, and economic issues," said Frank R. Miller, City of San Antonio Aviation Director. "The airport plays a huge role in the economic vitality of the City and the region. As the City grows, it is imperative that we are prepared to meet the City's needs."
A number of unifying issues led to the formation of the TCAA, including federal airport funding mechanisms, development and infrastructure needs, security policies, business initiatives and operational concerns.
Another key purpose of TCAA is to educate lawmakers and policy makers on the economic contributions of airports to their regions. In total, Texas commercial service airports create more than 714,720 full-time jobs with annual earnings of approximately $20 billion and $45 billion in annual economic activity.
"Commercial airports drive growth and job creation in diverse segments of our state, national, and international economies," said David Cain, Executive Director of TCAA and a former state senator. "Now with the creation of TCAA, Texas commercial airports will be able to leverage their resources to maximize that growth."
"Commercial airports are an important part of Texas' multi-modal transportation system," said Fred Underwood, Texas Transportation Commissioner. "We welcome the founding of a new organization that creates a collective voice for a transportation industry working tirelessly to promote safe and efficient infrastructure expansion which is key to the state's economic strength."
"Airports continue to serve as important business drivers for Texas, which has one of the strongest state economies in the nation," said Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport CEO Jeff Fegan, who also serves on the TCAA board. "Besides airline industry jobs, commercial passenger airports also support many other industries such as cargo shipping, warehousing, tourism and commercial development."
TCAA is modeled after similar associations in California and Florida. In addition to the state's two major airport hubs - Dallas/Fort Worth International and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston - membership is open to all commercial airports with scheduled airline service in Texas. Airports across Texas are joining in the effort such as Abilene, Austin, Brownsville, College Station, Corpus Christi, El Paso, McAllen, Midland, San Antonio, Waco and more.
The association elected a board of directors with the following designated as the TCAA leadership: Mario C. Diaz, Director of the Houston Airport System, Board Chairman; Monica Lombrana, Director of Aviation El Paso International Airport, Vice Chairman; Jeff Fegan, Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport CEO, Secretary; Frank Miller, Director of the San Antonio International Airport, Treasurer.