Posts: 3248
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2001 12:57 am

Common Airport For Rio Grande Valley?

Fri Jan 21, 2005 5:31 am

I have always thought that the cities served by XNA (Bentonville, Fayetteville, Springdale, etc.) were very smart and forward-looking when they built a single airport that served all the cities in the region. Granted, Wal-Mart is a big part of this, but by combining their resources, these cities now have nonstops to Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York.

I've long been an advocate of this type of airport-sharing. I think the cities of Tyler and Longview could have done well with a joint airport, but now that there's a new terminal at TYR, this won't happen. The same is true for Wichita Falls, TX and Lawton, OK, but this is also unlikely.

However, does anyone think that there is a chance that the cities of the Rio Grande Valley would ever pool their resources to build a larger airport that could be used by McAllen, Harlingen, and Brownsville? True, the Valley is a sprawling area, and is currently served by three airports (MFE, HRL, and BRO). However, BRO's only service is on CoEx (to IAH), while HRL has CoEx (to IAH), WN (to HOU, AUS, and SAT), and Sun Country (to MSP). MFE has AA (to DFW), CoEx (to IAH and MEX), and NWAirlink (to MEM).

Combining these cities could potentially justify service to ORD, ATL, and many other destinations. Does anyone think it could happen, or is the current airport system too ingrained in the region?

Thanks for your comments.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
Posts: 1388
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 1999 7:39 am

RE: Common Airport For Rio Grande Valley?

Fri Jan 21, 2005 6:48 am

If you look at passenger boardings, RGV already has a consolidated regional airport. It's called HRL.
Posts: 852
Joined: Tue May 28, 2002 12:06 am

RE: Common Airport For Rio Grande Valley?

Fri Jan 21, 2005 7:07 am

MFE has a LOT more service than HRL does and is unique in South Texas in that it retained mainline service from the majors. Take WN out of HRL and you take away the vast majority of traffic. IMO it would make sense to have one unified facility for the valley placed equidistant to HRL, BRO and MFE and would allow for better frequency. Will it happen? I think we'll sooner see MEX-CRP service (E.G. snowball's chance in hell).
Posts: 3248
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2001 12:57 am

RE: Common Airport For Rio Grande Valley?

Fri Jan 21, 2005 7:27 am

I looked at their websites, and both MFE and HRL seem to have somewhat extensive capital development plans. I guess that means that a new airport is probably out, which is too bad.

It also appears that MFE has lost its NW flight to MEM. Anyone know when this happened?
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!

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