City council set to discuss Frontier Airline lease at Tyler Pounds airport, economic development opportunities

City council set to discuss Frontier Airline lease at Tyler Pounds airport, economic development opportunities
Tyler Pounds Regional Airport

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Tyler City Council on Wednesday will decide whether to approve a lease offered to Frontier Airlines as part of its service out of Tyler Pounds Regional Airport, as well as an upgrade to the airport’s existing security measures.

Before Frontier Airlines begins offering service out of Tyler Pounds, however, the airport’s manager said there was still some business to square away.

“One of the things, of course, we’re really excited about is the beginning flights from Frontier Airlines,” said Davis Dickson, airport manager at Tyler Pounds Regional Airport. “As part of that process, we’ve negotiated a lease with them, and that’s something we hope to present next Wednesday to the city council. All the details of the lease, and the landing fees associated with it.”

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Frontier Airlines would probably want to remodel the leased area inside Tyler Pounds, Dickson added; this would include ticket counter space, the queuing space, and the baggage conveyor system.

“It just kind of lays out all of the requirements that we have for them as operating out of our airport,” Dickson explained.

Tyler Pounds announced Frontier Airlines as their new commercial airline partner in March 2019 (Source: KLTV staff)
Tyler Pounds announced Frontier Airlines as their new commercial airline partner in March 2019 (Source: KLTV staff)

With the addition of Frontier Airlines, and the opening of Runway 422 in February, Dickson said there’s been a change in the traffic mix that’s come into Tyler Pounds. In a move to encourage larger aircraft - both private and commercial - to continue visiting Tyler, airport officials have also requested the city council consider authorizing the city manager apply for an FAA grant to fund costs to update the airport’s master plan, as well as design security upgrades and improvements to the airport.

The grant, totaling $855,000, would fund 90 percent of the cost of the upgrades.

“Many of the gates there on the field are over 20-years-old,” said Dickson. “We need to upgrade that... with the latest technology and surveillance.”

If the FAA grant process is approved, Dickson said the airport would then begin considering preparing for the future, including things like airfield expansion, terminal improvements, and evaluating pavement.

“We can be proactive in how we maintain our airport, plus how we can be proactive in setting it up to be an economic development tool,” Dickson added.

Tyler City Council will meet Wednesday, June 26 at 9 a.m.

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