WOOD COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – Improvements continue to be made to the Wood County-Collins Field Airport, and officials said they hope these efforts increase tourism in the area.

Airport Board President Randy Bateman said the airport has made “great improvements” over the last year that work to resolve past problems with an ultimate goal of extending the runway.

“We have been trying to get funding for the runway extension for the last four years,” Bateman said. “Our runway now is 4001 feet. We are trying to go to 5001 feet. The extra length will increase the safety for pilots on wet and bad weather days. It will allow for more jet traffic, as they require the 5000 feet for operations.”

Bateman said the expansion could happen in the near future or at least in the next 10 years depending on funding from TxDOT Aviation.

“When we go to 5000 feet, we would be the same as Terrell,” Bateman said. “That means other than Tyler, Wood County and Terrell would be the longest airfields between Longview and Dallas.”

In addition to these plans, the airport will be opening a new ramp in mid-January that will grant larger planes better access to their fuel system. The airport is also working on a fencing project that is meant to increase safety and keep unauthorized traffic off the flight line.

“At a time when many rural communities in Texas are struggling to maintain existing infrastructure, Wood County is making improvements,” Wood County Judge Lucy Hebron said. “We will continue to enhance our infrastructure, which supports tourism.”

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