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Fort Worth Alliance Airport and the AllianceTexas Development

It’s hard to imagine the 35W corridor between Fort Worth and Denton without Alliance Airport and the development it sparked in the years since it opened.

Billed as the world's first purely industrial airport, it was developed in a joint venture between

the City of Fort Worth, the Federal Aviation Administration and Hillwood Development Company, a real estate development company owned by Ross Perot Jr. The official groundbreaking ceremonies were held in July 1988, and the airport officially opened on December 14, 1989.

AllianceTexas, as the 27,000-acre development is now known, is home to Charles Schwab’s new global headquarters (officially in January 2021), Amazon Air, BNSF Railway, FedEx and a Facebook data center. It is also a workforce development hub, with Tarrant County College’s Erma C. Johnson Hadley Center of Excellence for Aviation, Transportation and Logistics located

adjacent to the airport. To date, the AllianceTexas development has generated approximately $84 billion in economic impact for the North Texas region, $2.5 billion in paid property taxes, and is responsible for creating more than 62,000 jobs.

The annual Bell Fort Worth Alliance Air Show wows crowds with aviation history, present and future, as well as engaging and energizing the next generation of aviators to pursue STEM courses in schools.

The area around Alliance Airport wasn’t the only entity experiencing growth. The Airport itself was quickly becoming more of a cargo hub and growing in international presence. But, to accommodate the larger international jets, the runways needed to be extended.

This project consisted of extending Runways 16R/34L and 16L/34R at Fort Worth Alliance Airport from 8,220 feet and 9,600 feet to 11,000 feet. Initial work began in the early 1990’s, with the major components of the project commencing in 2001. This project was officially closed in 2020, and consisted of major land acquisitions, relocation of utilities, rerouting

Farm-to-Market Road 156, and the BNSF Mainline Rail, as well as the actual design and construction of the project.

By extending the runways, Fort Worth Alliance Airport is poised for international cargo flight operations from various locations around the world. With the extended takeoff lengths, large aircraft can be filled with more fuel (and cargo) and accomplish direct flights to better serve a global market. This not only benefits current based cargo operators like FedEx Express and Amazon Air, but also military aircraft and other large aircraft that utilize Fort Worth Alliance Airport.

The completion of this multi-year project was no small feat, and it took the hard work of numerous individuals and many different parties to accomplish this great milestone – illustrating the great “alliance” this project has forged between the private and public sectors. This truly was a major achievement, and it will continue to have positive impacts for the individuals and communities in the North Texas Region.

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