McKinney National Airport is getting a $15 million state grant to extend its runway by 1,500 feet and give its commuter pilots more room to take off.
The Texas Department of Transportation announced the grant Friday after several years of planning to expand the takeoff strip from 7,000 to 8,500 feet.
The city of McKinney will also contribute money to partially match the grant, the city said. Construction is expected to start in 2021.
McKinney is a single-runway airport but handles more than 156,000 landings and takeoffs a year, about 30% more than in 2016. Many of those takeoffs and landings include student pilots and instructors. The 745-acre airport opened in 1979.
Operational activity at the airport is projected to grow in the coming years with increased use by business jets needing longer runway lengths to accommodate heavier loads and longer stage lengths. The current Airport Master Plan recommends accomplishing the runway extension in the next five years to allow the airport unrestricted growth.