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Killeen airport rebranding as Fort Hood set for name change

Posted at 5:50 PM, Mar 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-13 18:51:15-04

KILLEEN, Texas — Folks in Bell County have known for a while now that Fort Hood is going to be changing its name but they're not the only ones.

The Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport is not only changing its name to something else, but it is also using the opportunity to completely rebrand the airport all together.

For nearly two decades the Killeen Airport has been an economic boost for the area, but like many airports its size, it has been struggling since the COVID pandemic hit in 2020.

”A lot of air service was cut in a lot of different places, and it really affected a lot of smaller communities,” said Ray Perryman, president of The Perryman Group, Economic Research Company.

The airport currently is only offering five to six flights each day to Dallas-Fort Worth, and even though that number is small, experts say it’s enough because it beats shutting down.

”What that means is, you don’t have access to the major hubs,” Perryman said. “That eliminates a lot of companies coming in, eliminates a lot of travel opportunities and makes it more difficult for local folks, but there have been a lot of studies that show it affects the income of an area, it affects the job growth, and many other things.”

So, the Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport isn’t going anywhere, but just like the nearby Army installation, its name is going to change.

”When forming last year’s budget, we know were going to have to look at changing the name when Fort Hood changed theirs,” said Mike Wilson, executive director of Aviation for the City of Killeen. “So, we budgeted a rebranding program for the FY-23 budget.”

Rebranding is more than a simple name change.

”There will be a complete rebranding of the airport — the name, the message, the story that we want to tell about our airport and how we benefit the community and part of that is choosing a new name,” Wilson said.

It’s a chance to remind the community why it's there with a whole new look.

”Anytime you have a chance to kind of freshen up a brand and potentially make it have broader appeal, I think, is a positive,” Perryman said.

Airport officials say they will be gathering input from the community and Fort Hood before picking a new name that will have to be approved by the city council and the FAA before it becomes official.

That could take at least 18 months.