SAN ANTONIO – It's a committee without a flight plan. Instead, its mission is to chart one out for the area's leaders.
The San Antonio Airport Development Committee is due to start its work next year in looking 50 years into the future of San Antonio air transportation. Its aim will be to come up with recommendations "to help make policy decisions and ultimately, resource allocation," chairman John Dickson said. "You know, where do you put your bets?"
Dickson, who was tapped by Mayor Ron Nirenberg to lead the committee of 15-20 people, says "everything" is on the table. Whether that means expanding San Antonio International airport, a new airport or something else, Dickson said the committee isn't limiting itself.
"The mayor has said, 'Think big. Keep the possibilities broad and let's narrow it down from there,'" Dickson said.
Dickson said the committee will take a "deep look at air transportation in general" as well as the community's aviation assets, which include Stinson Municipal Airport and Port San Antonio.
"We're also close to Austin," he said. "There may be some opportunities for collaboration with that airport if you look at things in a regional basis.”
San Antonio Aviation Director Russ Handy, who will likely be a part of the committee as well, said San Antonio International Airport has real estate available right now.
"There are some misconceptions out there that we have no room to develop," he said. "That isn't true. We do. I mean, there are limits to everything, but that's the kind of dialogue I think we need to get into with the community."
Handy hopes committee members are able to provide a focus for the community.
"We've got strategic consultants that can do strategic planning, but the community will help us decide the basic direction the train is traveling, and then we get on the tracks and we move out," he said.