FAQ and Community Issues
Houston Executive Airport developer Ron Henriksen answers questions about the new business aviation airport he is building on the west side of Houston.
To help residents and businesses better understand the airport
and how it will affect them, here are some of the most frequently asked
questions and answers, as well as links to more information.
What is Houston Executive Airport?
Houston Executive Airport will be one of the finest business aviation airports in the United States. Click here or scroll down to read a brief overview of the project.
Click here to learn more about the airport's planning and development.
Who is going to pay for the airport?
The entire project will be funded by Houston-area pilot and businessman Ron Henriksen. No tax dollars will be used for the planning, construction, or operation of this airport!
How will the new airport benefit the community?
Airports are good neighbors and a valuable asset to the local business community. Airports create jobs, stimulate economic development and produce tax revenue.
Click here to read more about the economic impact of Houston Executive Airport as well as case studies of similar airports in Texas and Arizona.
What can I do to show my support for the airport project?
Write to your elected representatives and ask them to voice their support for this important project.
We know that airports are good for business, but what about the environment?
Modern airports are environmentally friendly. They preserve more greenspace than most other commercial developments.
Will Houston Executive Airport be safe?
"As a pilot for over 30 years, I understand and respect concerns about safety. We are working closely with the FAA, and have hired world-class experts to build an airport that will meet or exceed every FAA safety requirement. Our airport will be state of the art, the finest facility of its kind in the region."
My kids like airplanes. Will I be able to bring them to Houston Executive Airport to watch the planes?
"Houston Executive Airport will also include a public park where families can picnic and let their kids watch the planes come and go, along with facilities for aviation related youth activities that are a part of the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Civil Air Patrol and Young Eagles."
What kind of noise will Houston Executive Airport generate?
"In the last 10 years, airport noise has greatly diminished, mostly due to a combination of new technology in aircraft and engine design, plus new noise regulations and standards. Our engineering studies indicate that the closest structures to the Airport will receive about the same noise from aircraft taking off or landing as from passing cars traveling at 50 mph (60 decibels). Almost all of the airport's noise footprint will be on the airport's property."
I heard that, since it is privately owned and funded, Houston Executive Airport will not have to obey federal airport safety rules. Is this true?
"No. A public airport even though privately funded is still subject to governmental rules and regulations. Indeed, all airports, aircraft and air travel are very closely regulated by the FAA and the Department of Transportation. Many of the public access airports in the Houston area have been privately owned for decades and have excellent safety records. These include West Houston Airport, David Wayne Hooks Airport, Houston Southwest Airport, Pearland Regional Airport, Weiser Airpark, May Airport and Baytown RWJ Airpark. We are subject to all the same operational safety requirements that any similar airport would face."
I read in the newspaper about FAA concerns about future airspace overcrowding. Will Houston Executive Airport help alleviate this problem?
"The FAA recently released a comprehensive study of the nation's airspace and the changes it will undergo in the coming decade. Among other things, it concludes that air traffic will continue to increase and it specifically notes that the south and the southwest areas of the country need additional capacity. Overcrowded air space creates system wide delays that cost individuals and businesses millions of dollars in lost revenue. Additionally this overcrowding eventually could become a safety issue if more reliever airports are not brought on line. Facilities such as the Houston Executive Airport not only help to alleviate this condition, but also provide a valuable service and resource for the local community. While many communities are faced with spending millions of tax dollars to build airports and runways, we are investing our own money to build a much needed facility west of Houston because we are convinced it is the right thing to do."
Houston Executive Airport: A Brief Overview
WCF, LLC was founded by Houston-area pilot and business executive Ron Henriksen to develop a new business aviation airport and business and technology center for the west side of the Greater Houston Metropolitan Area. The Houston Executive Airport is under construction on the site of a private airport, called Air Rice, which was built in 1962. The 1,980 acre site sits on farm land near the Igloo factory, Interstate 10 and a rail line.
WCF is planning the finest business aviaton airport in the country specifically to suit the needs of corporations and individuals using aircraft for business travel, as well as businesses and high technology industries that can benefit from the Airport's unique location and access to air, rail and interstate transportation.
Houston currently has very few airports located on the west side of the city, and none west of the Grand Parkway. This is a major impediment to corporations interested in relocating to the west side of Houston or Katy, as well as those interested in conducting business with companies already located in Waller, western Harris and northern Fort Bend counties.
Today, much of Houston's business aviation traffic operates out of the increasingly congested air carrier airports, William P. Hobby and George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Just as the Collin County Regional Airport in McKinney has become a business aviation center for companies doing business in Plano and Dallas, Houston Executive Airport is designed to provide a gateway to the west side of Houston for companies currently forced to use the air carrier airports.
Houston has also recently lost two "reliever" airports that were closed for residential development, increasing private and business aviation congestion and delays at the major airports in the area. Federal and Texas state aviation agencies have been endeavoring to open a jet reliever airport west of Houston for several decades.
The FAA recently released a comprehensive study of the nation's airspace and the changes it will undergo in the coming decade. Among other things, it concludes that air traffic will continue to increase and it specifically notes that the south and the southwest areas of the country need additional capacity. Overcrowded air space creates system wide delays that cost individuals and businesses millions of dollars in lost revenue. Additionally this overcrowding eventually could become a safety issue if more reliever airports are not brought on line. Many communities are faced with spending millions of tax dollars to build airports and runways to address this problem.
While improving transportation infrastructure is nothing new for Houston, WCF's decision to develop Air Rice into a public access airport of this scope on private property with private investment is unusual.
Houston Executive Airport will feature a 5,050' runway, with instrument approaches, airplane hangars and business aviation terminal facilities. As the development grows, the runway may be lengthened to 7,000', and a second parallel runway may be added. Additionally, a business aviation terminal and corporate aviation flight department factilities will be built as the airport grows. The airport will also be home to business and technology zones, designed for corporate and support sector offices, light industrial and high-technology manufacturing, distribution and warehouse facilities, and aviation/high-technology education and training centers.
Modern business aviation airports are very beautiful. They preserve green space as metropolital areas expand and are a benefit to the environment. The airport will include a public park where families can picnic, play sports and let their kids watch the planes come and go, along with facilities for aviation related youth activities, such as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Civil Air Patrol and Young Eagles.
Business aviation airports stimulate high-end business development and exist in harmony with residential neighborhoods of all kinds. Additionally, Houston Executive Airport will not only provide important property tax revenue itself, it will attract business aircraft worth as much as $30-40 million each. It will quickly become one of the largest taxpayers in Waller County.