Garden City Regional Airport looks to the future

GARDEN CITY, Kansas – Garden City has experienced a population and economic boom over the last few years.

Now the city is working to help the airport keep up with demand.

“Because we have jet service, I think that that has helped here in Southwest Kansas for commercial and industrial development,” said Janet Doll, the Garden City mayor.

One of the city’s goals for the near future: expanding the Garden City Regional Airport.

“We’re always looking to expand our air service,” said Rachelle Powell, the Garden City director of aviation.

Garden wants to expand to accommodate more people and to do that, they’re considering options to remodel the airport’s terminal and potentially develop the area around it.

“Whether that’s a renovation or a whole complete rebuild…Just so we can accommodate our passengers better,” Powell said.

Right now, the airport services two regional jet flights to Dallas/Fort worth each day and sees around twenty two hundred people flying out each month.

That’s much higher than other nearby regional airports that see 175 people a month.

“Enhancing our service could be adding an additional flight, adding a larger aircraft than we currently (use) and staying with the two flights or even adding another airline,” she said.

What makes the Garden City Regional Airport so unique is it’s the only airport for several hours that offers regional jet services.

That alone brings in customers from all over Southwest Kansas.

“Getting on a regional jet, you fly down to Dallas for an hour flight and then you have service to anywhere in the world,” she said.

Designs won’t be underway until 2017 but the city says this is a high priority.

“We wanna make sure that we have that hometown hospitality at our airport, and providing services that connect us to the rest of the world as well as bringing people in to connect them with Garden City,” she said.

This year, the Garden City Regional Airport received its third consecutive award for having zero discrepancies on their FAA inspection.

It was one of only five airports in the four state central region to be recognized.

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