In 1983, the Wood County Airport was complete with a terminal building, 3400 ft. runway, maintenance hangar and first row of private hangars.
In 2001, the Wood County Airport upgraded to a hot mix asphalt runway 4000 ft. in length and 60 foot wide, with compacted overruns at each end. This feature allowed the airport to handle all propeller aircraft and small jet aircraft. A PAPI lighting system was installed at the end of runway 18. Two taxiways were added for future hangar construction and growth.
In 2003, the Automated Weather Operating System (AWOS) was installed shortly after the 2001 expansion. The AWOS sends local weather to pilots over radio and the Internet. This information is also used by the National Weather Service to improve weather forecasting for the public.
In 2004, an automated fueling station was constructed, offering Jet A or AvGas aviation fuel. The fuel keeps the planes and helicopters in action, from business travelers to saving lives and for hobbyists or commuters.
2007-08, the Wood County Airport hosted a research team working on a new submarine detection system for the U.S. Navy. A helicopter towed a magnetic detection probe below flights, while the team conducted testing and monitored variations in the earth/s magnetic field.
2007- 2008, a renovation and expansion project upgraded the terminal building and taxiway. An additional square 1000 feet by building out over the existing smaller structure and renovating the existing facilities. The Wood County Airport Terminal now houses a Pilot’s Planning Area, Pilot’s lounge complete with leathered chairs that recline, table (chess if you like), the WCA Collins Pilot’s Lounge Library, DirectTV and wireless Internet access, a Kitchenette, lobby and conference room complete with overhead computer projections, pull down screen and write on board.
A parallel taxiway was added to the northern two-thirds of the runway, with access and pad sites for larger aircraft hangars. This work was conducted by KSA Lead Design Engineering Reynolds & Kay Construction in October 2007. Improvements were made to the ramp and Taxiway C was added.
The Terminal Building upgrades and taxiway upgrades were funded jointed by the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) Routine Airport Maintenance Program (RAMP) sponsored by the Wood County Airport Board, and the generosity of the Meredith Foundation grant through the city of Mineola and the Texas Dept. of Transportation Aviation Division.
In 2008, the infrastructure expansion included the addition of supplying all new hangars with electric, water, sewer, phone line, and high speed internet accessibility.
In the later part of 2012, the maintenance hangar was renovated and expanded with offices to provide FBO facilities, in arrangement with the East Texas Flying Service by P.R. Burch (903-963-8976 or 903-571-0116).
In a May 2012 presentation to the Wood County Industrial Commission board of directors, Dr. John Wisdom, WCA board chair, made the following comments.
The Wood County Airport is currently undergoing another improvement project with the runway expansion and lighting system upgrades (in 2013). This is roughly a 90/10 project, with 90% from TXDOT Aviation Division, Routine Airport Maintenance Project (RAMP) and 10% from the WCAB reserves. Dr. Wisdom added, “The Wood County Airport, known as JDD in the flying world, received the coveted recognition as the best “Airport of the Year 2010” award by the Texas Department of Transportation. The airport board works diligently to ensure the Wood County Airport, to have grown to be a $2.2 million facility, meets the present and future needs of the growing area, for business and fun travel.” Dr. Wisdom concluded his presentation by stating “the airport is a wonderful, convenient and highly used asset for Wood County and all of east Texas.”
In the first two quarters 2013, the Wood County Airport underwent another TXDOT RAMP project with a runway expansion, grounds and drainage improvements and lighting system upgrades. In the coming year, funding has been lined up to pursue a replacement for the All Weather Observation System (AWOS). Subject to available State of Texas funding, this is hoped to be complete in 2016 or 2017.
Each year, the Wood County Airport board of directors hosts an annual appreciation luncheon to thank Wood County, the cities of Mineola and Quitman, the public and special guests who support the airport. The Wood County Airport board has built a reputation for good food and friendship plus people just like them to work so hard. The Airport expansion and growth has welcomed flights from all across American, even as far away as Alaska. A monument in front of the Airport Terminal exhibits the dedication to all those who worked so diligently to made the airport possible, and to “ensure the Airport meets the present and future needs of a growing area” and for the economic vision of the leadership portrayed by the joint efforts of “Wood County, the city of Mineola, the city of Quitman, the Meredith Foundation, and the Texas Department of Transportation Aviation Division.”