Easterwood Airport will be receiving a $5.9 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration, in order to make improvements to the general aviation ramp for safety and efficiency.
The improvements to Taxiway Alpha are expected to begin in January, creating better space for the movement of large aircraft.
"The number one goal of this project is safety – safety for the ground crew on that side of the air field, and safety for the pilots that use the airport," said Ryan Clements, Easterwood's director of security.
Clements noted that the airport typically receives grants of varying sizes on an annual basis. While this grant for Taxiway Alpha may not be directly noticed by customers, it plays an important role in supporting airport staff.
"With some of the major improvements we make, the public doesn’t necessarily see it," said Clements. "We see it on the operations team, and the pilots see it.”
Lorraine Roesler of Bryan has been a customer of Easterwood for a long time. She has depended on its services to help her visit her daughter in Oregon every year.
“We’ve lived here for 40 years, and we started flying when our daughter got married," Roesler said as she waited in the Easterwood lobby to board an afternoon flight.
"Now I don’t know how many years she’s been married," said Roesler. "I think over 25 – close to 30?”
Roesler has watched Easterwood change and expand with the times.
“I love little airports!" Roesler said. "I really do. But I noticed when we drove up today there were so many cars, and the parking has really increased. It has grown.”
The population of Brazos County has increased by 12 percent since 2016, according to the Texas A&M University System. Clements said the future is looking bright for Easterwood, and airport leadership are continually in talks with major airlines.
“The more passengers that choose Easterwood Airport and the convenience of our airport; those talks continue to add more flights, to add larger planes, and to improve the air service," Clements said.