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Work Continues on Central Texas Airport

April 16, 2010

A year ago, Jim Carpenter came to the area, proposing a privately-owned reliever airport in the area, called Central Texas Airport (CTA), which is designed to be America’s first ‘green airport.’

After getting mixed reviews from City of Bastrop in general, the associated activity with the airport has quieted down significantly.

Carpenter said Thursday that he and his associates are focusing on business and industrial business recruitment for the $150 million project.

The location of the proposed airport is almost 2,000 acres at the intersection of FM 1704 and FM 969, about eight miles from both Elgin and Bastrop, according to Carpenter. The Federal Aviation Agency has already given approval for the utilization of airspace, Carpenter said.

Lee Dildy, Pct. 4 Commissioner, stated that he would love to have this project in Pct. 4.

“This airport project would be great for Bastrop County, but there are certain liability issues that have yet to be worked out,” Dildy said.

Carpenter said he is seeking out both aviation and non-aviation, alternative renewable energy, as well as aerospace businesses for the Green Corporate Centers.

“Corporate aircraft are taxable and we are in the process of recruiting businesses who use aircraft, such as Wal Mart, with its fleet of planes, because those aircraft are taxable, meaning more revenue for Bastrop County.

“We are looking for the higher performing aircraft and companies that manage a lot of aircraft to use CTA. We want to work with the aircraft management companies to establish a baseline for maintenance, inspection, overhauls and certifications in one location,” explained Carpenter.

CTA would not be in competition with Austin- Bergstrom International Airport or smaller airports, such as Bird’s Nest and those in San Marcos and Georgetown, Carpenter said. He indicated that CTA would provide a new economic base for the County.

“Business people are going to need to ask how economically they can get to five or six cities in one day and still be at home by night. We want to accommodate those businesses in Bastrop County,” said Carpenter.

One of the challenges for Carpenter and his proposed airport is to ‘quell false fears or rumors about the business.’

“We are hoping to break this catch-22 that we seem to be in and get Bastrop County communities on-board with our project. With a number of employees anticipated, housing will be needed, which will boost realtors, Chambers of Commerce and other businesses in the area.

“CTA and the Green Corporate Center will provide job opportunities for young people who are not seeking a four-year degree. In 18 months, with a high school diploma or GED equivalent, a student can have a nice paying job and still live here,” Carpenter added.

According to Carpenter, most hangars are not climate-controlled, so in the coldest and hottest times of year, workers are unable to work in those conditions. We have ways to have drop-down vents for heating and cooling in our hangars that will extend work hours for employees,” Carpenter said.

If the airport becomes a reality, it could have a significant impact on the Elgin ISD, since some of the land is in the southern part of the school district and could increase tax revenues significantly.

Bastrop City Manager Mike Talbot said Bastrop officials have had no involvement in the CTA or with Carpenter in a year. Last year about this time, the proposal got mixed reviews from Bastrop County officials at a public hearing.

According to a study by Perryman Group that Carpenter paid for, the airport would create over 4,000 jobs and when the development is complete, would employ 43,000 over the long haul.

For more information, visit the Web site at http://www.centexairport.com.

Elgin Courier Article

Posted by Stephen Carpenter at 10:48 AM
Filed in: Central Texas Airport, Green Corporate Centers, News

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