As a resident of McKinney for 32 years, I love and care for our community and I want the best for our future. As Mayor, I have spent the past 4 years working with Council and city staff to constructively and sensibly assess the viability of commercial passenger service at our McKinney National Airport. We have engaged the top industry consultants, have had many meetings with the FAA at the local, regional, and federal levels, met with legacy airline carriers concerning their desire to fly from McKinney, and have had numerous open meetings along the way to provide information and answer questions in the community. The airport will not be viewed favorably by everyone, but everyone should have accurate information to conclude what position is right for them.
Despite some claims to the contrary, Expansion of the McKinney Airport WILL NOT raise your taxes.
Project Overview and Finances
The projected cost for the expansion of the airport is $300 Million. Keep scrolling to see a breakdown of the total costs.
If the bond passes, the airport will be paid for with a combination of General Obligation Bonds (to be voted on May 6) for $200 Million and $100 million will be requested from the MEDC and MCDC. Additionally, it is anticipated that the city will be eligible for state and federal grant reimbursements of up to $125M.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our current traffic analysis projects approximately 1,500 passengers a day commuting to the airport. With an average of 1.5 people per car, we can expect 1,000 cars to and from the airport each day. Perspective is important here. First, compare that with the estimated 15,000-25,000 customers a day going to the future McKinney HEB. We have designed our ingress and egress to handle such a volume. The airport is no different. Additionally, we've worked with TxDOT to ensure their upcoming projects will accommodate the future flow of airport commuter traffic in a way that directs traffic around the city, not through it.
The FAA's preliminary evaluations have shown all the noise contours will be confined to the city-owned airport property. At the altitude aircraft will be by the time it is over a residential neighborhood, the sound at ground level will be comparable to that of norm conversation (65dB). Here are the FAA noise predictions for 2036:
The anticipated 12 flights a day is far from "congestion". Further more, voting no to the bond doesn't mean the airport won't still expand with general aviation. Pilot training programs will continue to grow, and freight operations will surely expand in lieu of commercial passenger service. If commercial passenger service is implemented, it would impact the number of "touch and gos" (and the noise) of the training and freight planes at the airport.
Passenger service is not a burden we should try to avoid. In addition to adding convenience, the addition of passenger service will provide nearly a Billion Dollar annual economic impact to the region and generate thousands of jobs, helping to boost our local economy. It will be a tremendous attractor for business and employment relocations and entertainment industy amenities.
Voting yes to the bond is only one step in a series of steps to get us to the finish line. Voting for the bond is voting to authorize the funds, not issue them. If the bond passes, there are many steps still to complete, including the procurement of airline contracts, something the airlines will not consider until we have funding approved. If at any point it is determined this service is not beneficial to McKinney and its residents, this project will end prior to bonds being issued.
Click on this link to see the complete Airport Master Plan with all the details, proposed costs, noise studies and more.
Currently Airport Operations generate ad valorem taxes of $3.5M annually. The City of McKinney portion of that is $797,000. The rest is allocated to MISD, Collin College, and the Collin County. All of these taxes being subsidized by the airport benefit every McKinney resident.
Flight paths are determined and regulated by the FAA. You can go to TKI - Mckinney Ntl Airport | SkyVector
to see the current flight paths in and around McKinney.
The Economic Impact study is projecting 1000 employees who would work at the airport and another 850-1000 employees working at downstream companies supporting the airport.
In 2025, the annual passenger traffic is estimated to be 533,000 growing to 820,000 in 2040.
That is incorrect. Texas law requires all bond language to state that we will meet our debt obligation through the imposition of taxes sufficient to pay the principal and interest. The city already has sufficient debt capacity to repay the bonds without raising our rate, before even considering the enormous economic impact of the airport expansion.
The bond language clearly states that the bonds can only be used for the development of a commercial passenger terminal and related infrastructure. Simply stated, it would be illegal to use the funds for any other purpose.
The airport will continue to grow as McKinney grows even if the city does not expand into commercial passenger traffic. Possible growth could come from increased cargo traffic. The downside of cargo traffic is that it provides no where near the economic impact or increases in ad valorem tax revenues. Cargo traffic is usually 24/7. Cargo planes tend to be heavier and louder. And increased cargo service will result in increased truck traffic on our roads.
New Commercial Air Terminal on the East Side of the Airport
A planned, sustainable commercial air service terminal offers a transportation alternative to the large and medium hub airports within the Dallas/Fort Worth area. If approved by the voters, funding for the project is proposed to come from several sources, including General Obligation bonds, federal grants, and low-interest federal transportation infrastructure loans. With an initial project investment of approximately $300 million, project highlights include:
McKinney National Airport is today a financially self-sustaining local asset with an annual operating budget of $12M. The Airport has an annual economic impact of $212.7M to the area and generates $3.5 million in Ad Valorem revenue.
The Cost of the Airport Expansion is $300 Million
Breakdown of the Airport Expansion Costs
|Project - Add New Commercial Passenger Terminal||Estimated Cost|
|Terminal Gates (4 Gate Facility||$173,500,000|
|East Side Infrastructure Development (e.g., water, electrical,sewer)||$3,700,000|
|Terminal Apron I Pavement (4 gates and surrounding areas)||$19,000,000|
|Parallel Taxiway C - Partial Taxiway to Runway 36 End||$15,500,000|
|Terminal Entrance and Loop Roadway||$35,700,000|
|Passenger Vehicle Parking (Surface Lots)||$46,700,000|
|Vehicle Service Road Serving East Side of Airport||$7,500,000|
|New AARF Equipment (Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting||$1,000,000|
How Will We Pay For The Airport Expansion
The City of McKinney Will NOT Raise Or Issue New Taxes To Fund The Airport Expansion
|General Obligation Bond||$200,000,000||A "Yes" vote on May 6 only authorizes the city to issue the bonds. Bond money is restricted legally to only being spent on the Airport Expansion|
|McKinney Community Development Corporation||$50,000,000||$50,000,000 has been requested from the MCDC|
|McKinney Economic Development Corporation||$50,000,000||$50,000,000 has been requested from the MEDC|
|FAA and State of Texas||$125,000,000||It is anticipated that the city will be eligible for state and federal reimbursements of up to $125M|
Interesting Facts About the Costs and Financing of the Airport Expansion
Collin Country and the City of McKinney have issued approximately $1.6 Billion in Bonds over the last 10 years. Each of those bonds were for needed Capital Improvements. Interestingly, none of those Capital Improvements brought any sort of revenue to the City or County. The Airport Bond being proposed will generate an immense economic impact to this region with the City of McKinney receiving the highest proportion. Additionally, there will be real revenue going into the city’s coffers from the airport’s operations. These are funds that can be allocated to improve city services, education, roads, infrastrure, etc. Plus, Ad Volerem taxes
The consultants have modeled many different financial streams regarding the airport passenger service terminal expansion. In conservative models, they have shown the possibility of nearly $80M in losses over the next 25 years. This possible $80M loss is being touted by opposition to dissuade the expansion, yet the City has acknowledged this potential loss and continues to move forward…why? Well, first and foremost, the economic impact to the region over that same period of time is estimated to be nearly $27 Billion Dollars with McKinney being the benefactor of a large portion of that (kinda that spend a nickel to make a dollar adage). Enhanced sales tax dollars alone, over that same period of time, will be staggering and could subsidize such a loss. Additionally, it is also important to understand some of the overly conservative assumptions that generate the possible loss, and the impact to those projections when those assumptions change. For example, the conservative projections assume an entire, independent police force and fire department on the airport grounds. This assumption was used by the consultant as it is a common occurrence where the airport is too large, or too remote, from life safety services. That is NOT the case at McKinney National Airport. The reality is that Fire Station 4 and our current Police Department, with added personnel, will be used for airport services. This alone cuts a possible loss from $80M to $40M. The assumptions used concerning eligible grants from the FAA and State are approximately 1/2 what the airport will be eligible for. Receiving 75% of the eligible grants reduce the loss by another $20M. If the higher projections of number of passengers is realized, the loss becomes a profit of nearly $40M. The point is, there is much more to the discussion than a single, conservative projection snapshot.
Commercial Passenger Service or Inceased Cargo/Freight Service?