Killeen is building a new joint civilian-military use airport in conjunction with Fort Hood. This facility will be much like the one at Wichita Falls (SPS
), with shared runways but different terminal facilities. This makes sense for the Killeen-Temple area, as Fort Hood (the largest military installation in the world) constitutes much of the commercial traffic.
Here's more info:
The project is probably nearing completion; everything I've read indicates that "Summer 2004" is the target date.
I don't know if the airport code will change; I would think that it will keep the ILE code (much like AUS
kept their codes after new airports were built).
The benefit of this new facility is the longer runway. Currently, ILE cannot support regional jet service because its runway is too short. It is widely believed that DL
Connection will return and serve Killeen with regional jets, to DFW
and possibly ATL
. Whether AA
will bring regional jets remains to be seen, due to the airport's proximity to DFW
I currently live in Austin, and there is a chance that this airport could become a decent alternative to AUS
. For people living in Georgetown and Round Rock (north of Austin), the drive isn't considerably further than AUS
. Plus, it will be less congested, and parking fees will likely be lower (hell, parking is free at ACT
). Of course, fares will be the real determining factor here, but I do think it is a distinct possibility as Williamson and Bell counties continue to grow.
All in all, it's a great development for Texas aviation. I will try to get up there and see it when the terminal is finished.