|The Round Rock [TX] Impact|
Austin Executive Airport Opens, Brings Jobs To Pflugerville
Jun 09, 2011
By Caitlin Perrone Thursday, 09 June 2011
PFLUGERVILLE - Pflugerville city officials celebrated the prospect of job growth June 8 with the opening of the Austin Executive Airport.
Hundreds attended the opening program, ceremony and ribbon cutting, where guests discussed how the airport could create jobs and spur economic development within the surrounding communities.
After more than three years of construction, Austin Executive Airport, formerly known as Bird's Nest Airport, is now open at 6012 Aviation Drive, Pflugerville, for corporate and private planes. The old airport was privately purchased and built by Ron Henriksen, who also privately opened the Houston Executive Airport in 2007.
Each guest speaker at the program thanked Henriksen for providing Pflugerville and Manor with an engine for economic development. In addition to the aviation jobs that will arise through the airport and other companies, Pflugerville and Manor city officials are looking at the possibility of creating even more jobs through hotels and restaurants.
"This is something we have advocated and asked for for a long time,"
Travis County Commissioner Ron Davis said. "Not only will the airport provide good paying jobs, but even bigger than that is the spin off for commercial development in this area that we desperately need."
Over time, the airport will directly produce between 20 and 50 jobs before the end of this year, Davis said. In the next two years, he said, it will produce between 50 and 80 jobs. Within 10 years, an estimated 645 jobs will be created.
The job creation these numbers suggest was seen in Houston after the Houston Executive Airport opened, Henriksen said. Aviation Attorney at Law and pilot Drew Coats said this information was derived by observing other airports throughout the state that are similar to the Austin Executive Airport.
Some of those jobs will come from aircraft maintenance, avionic and paint shops, and other aviation businesses the airport is already seeking.
Andrew Perry, vice president of development for Austin Executive Airport, announced the airport has already produced 20 jobs, and "we're just going to keep going from there."
"All we're going to do is run the airport, runway and sell the fuel, but there's a lot of other aviation-related industries like painting planes, putting interiors in planes, preparing the radios, doing maintenance on the aircraft, all that's going to be done by other companies," Henriksen said. "We're trying to create as many jobs as we can, and this airport's going to help do that."
Speakers at the grand opening included state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, Pflugerville Mayor Jeff Coleman, Craig Fuller, CEO of Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association, and Steve Hadley from the National Business Aircraft Association, as well as Perry, Henriksen and Davis.
No Plane No Gain: Sampling of 2010 Coverage
Since the launch of the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign, a concerted effort has been made to deliver the message about the importance of business aviation through national and local news outlets. This sampling of national and local television coverage in 2010, highlights the campaign's effectiveness in communicating the industry's importance.
NBAA's Bolen on Fox Business Network
Click here to see Ed Bolen, President and CEO of NBAA, in an interview on Fox Business Network
NBAA's Bolen on DC's Newschannel 8
In an interview with Newschannel 8, Bolen explains that "... business aviation is prudent, cost-effective, and oftentimes, the only way to get where you're going."