It is still a long ways from welcoming airplanes, but a new airport in the Austin area is in the works, and the planned 2012 Formula 1 race is being used to push the project.
The Austin American-Statesman — quickly becoming the leading F1-related publication in America! — has the details:
Bastrop County commissioners unanimously approved incentives Monday for a proposed $150 million private airport and business complex in the western part of the county.
The county would refund 75 percent of county property taxes for the proposed airport over 30 years as part of an agreement with the project’s developer.
The airport is far from a done deal â€” parts of the project still must be approved by the county and federal regulators â€” but the commissioners’ incentive offer is a significant step.
Jim Carpenter, managing partner of Central Texas Airport LLC, the would-be developer of the airport, said, “The Central Texas Airport completes the missing infrastructure asset that was needed for Central Texas.” Carpenter began discussions with the county on the project at least a year ago.
He said the airport would help fill a need when an annual Formula One race comes to Austin, scheduled to begin in 2012.
“Formula One will bring a tremendous demand for aviation,” he said.
The proposed airport now includes plans for a 7,200-foot runway on about 1,100 acres, and will be for private chartered aircraft and business jets. According to the agreement, the airport cannot be a general commercial airport.
Obviously, this is not going to be the way most of regular fans arrive, but if it can take a little of the pressure off Austin’s airport — which I’ve heard nothing good about — then that will be an improvement. (For the record, I’ll likely fly into San Antonio, rent me a Ferrari from Parris Mullins and blast on over to the race.)
It also shows that there are some additional benefit from the proposed F1 race than just the crowds during the race weekend.