Beyond current means : meeting public aviation demand in the border region in 2035



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Although not often discussed in planning curriculum across the United States, airports are a very significant part of the country’s transportation infrastructure. With so much emphasis placed on ground transportation modes such as light rail, bus, and bike, the impact of aviation on the transportation world gets lost in translation. This study seeks to bring airport planning back into the conversation by analyzing population projections, income, and industry and their affect on airport preparedness to meet increasing population demands. By using population projections through 2035 for the State of Texas, gross population and population growth rates were used to select counties within Texas that may be most in need of airport planning considerations. Counties along the Texas-Mexico border were analyzed in further detail for planning considerations and preparedness based on their population growth rates. Hidalgo County’s McAllen-Miller International Airport (MFE) was found to be proactively seeking changes to their airfield that matched recommendations based on their population increase. However, the level of coordination with city or county level authorities is lacking.