The Rio Grande Valley was the first stop for thousands of items from south of the border. The items are packed on cargo planes for destinations all over the country.
Valley International Airport is planning more than $15 million expansion of its runway.
The airport sees passenger flights from United, Delta, and Southwest. It’s also a center for cargo that ships goods throughout the country.
“Particularly for FedEx, this is considered their south hub,” said Marv Esterly, Director of Aviation at Valley International Airport. “They’ll bring truck freight from across the border as far as Corpus Christi and San Antonio and fly to Memphis to be sorted.”
He adds they’re looking to expand the runway.
“They can actually fill the aircraft up to 47% of their maximum weight, but at this point with the extension, they’ll actually be able to go over 70% of their maximum takeoff weight at Valley International,” he said.
The Federal Aviation Administration is funding the majority of the expansion. Esterly said this will benefit not just the airport but also the community.
“The extra runway length will actually allow the loads to be heavier. So we’ll see more expansion of those services, which also creates jobs for the community,” he said.
Construction is expected to begin in late 2021 and will not impact travel times at the airport. The airport is planning to be fully operational by 2022.