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Page 106
A History of Austin's Newest General Aviation Airport
W. H
Chapter 5
the community of Hutto, and continuing on-
ward another thirty-five miles to the historic
village of Salado, Texas (pop. 3,475), home to
the Stagecoach Inn, allegedly the oldest con-
tinuously running hotel in Texas.
No doubt, all the towns between Clear
Springs and Salado needed more electricity,
but making a beeline from A to B and thus
erecting a couple of dozen 150-foot-tall power
lines directly in the airport's flight path sim-
ply wouldn't work for me. LCRA could reroute
its proposed power line or I could reconfig-
ure the new runway. I couldn't reconfigure
the runway because it was shoehorned onto
the site in the only way possible. I did have
enough wiggle room to nudge the runway
a couple of degrees either way, but the gen-
eral direction wasn't negotiable. Either I con-
vinced LCRA to move their lines or there was
no new runway and thus no new airport.
I'd read somewhere that when planning a
new power line route an energy company like
LCRA was legally bound to consider any air-
port with a runway longer than 3,000 feet. I
don't remember where I came up with this
bit of legal wisdom, but I recalled that if the
runway was shorter than three thousand feet
it wasn't much of an airport. It was just tough
2008. View from the north showing the end of the new turf runway that runs parallel to the existing runway.
Photo taken just after the grading was complete. Photo courtesy of David Hannah III.