Local City Set to Control Local Airport Operations

Arlington Municipal Airport | Image by Visit Plano

The city of Arlington will take control of the Arlington Municipal Airport after acquiring the fixed base operator on April 1.

The Arlington City Council approved the $17 million move, which allows the city to take complete control of the airport from Harrison Aviation ahead of a major renovation project and increased air traffic and tourism coming to the North Texas area due to the 2026 FIFA World Cup, in January.

“They offered the city the opportunity to compete and put a bid in for it, and we had an appraisal done, did our due diligence, and started to see that this would be a good investment for the city to make not only as a controlling piece of the airport, but more broadly as an economic impact,” Airport Manager Trent Ballard told the Arlington Report.

According to the Arlington Report, Ballard says the move will bring a $78 million benefit to the city and an estimated $236 million to the city’s economy over the next two decades.

Arlington will host nine matches at AT&T Stadium for the FIFA World Cup in June and July 2026, including an international semifinal match. Additionally, venues across the North Texas area, like Frisco’s Toyota Stadium, Dallas’s Cotton Bowl Stadium and Fair Park, and Arlington’s Globe Life Field, are expected to become training sites for the teams playing in the area, and DFW is a candidate to become the tournament’s major media hub, all of which could impact the Arlington Municipal Airport, which has only served as a “reliever” airport to this point.

As a result, the airport is looking at ways to deal with the increased capacity.

“We know our issue is going to be capacity,” Ballard explained to the Arlington Report. “I think one of the other issues is what amount of traffic we realistically will see, and I don’t know that anybody really has a good answer for that because we haven’t had a World Cup in the United States since, I believe, the mid-90s.”

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