Breckenridge, Texas, is home to a strong oil and gas industry, some of the best hunting in the Lone Star State, and now a growing number of visitors, thanks to a series of strategic airport improvements at the city’s Stephens County Airport (KBKD).
KBKD sits about an hour-and-a-half drive from the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and all other nearby airports, making it an ideal spot for transient air traffic. Seeing that potential, the county purchased the airport’s fuel farm last year and has since added a number of key upgrades designed to attract a larger pool of general aviation customers.
One of these improvements was the addition of Phillips 66® Aviation fuel, which Stephens County Judge Michael Roach says was part of the county’s plan to make KBKD “a nice place to stop.”
“We wanted an association with a significant name in aviation fuel,” Roach said. “And then we coupled that with significant investment in infrastructure, where you pull up to BKD to get gas and you know that this is different than your average gas stop.”
Roach is overseeing the county’s airport improvements, which included the purchase of a new refueling truck, two new courtesy cars, several additions to its self-service area and a complete remodel of its FBO. “We built a coffee bar, and added some nice high-top bistro tables and chairs, TVs Wi-Fi, and a lot of amenities for pilots,” he added.
The public has since voiced their approval of the changes on social media. In fact, numerous KBKD customers have commented on how much they love the upgrades; and many pilots who used to fly over the airport are now stopping at KBKD to refuel and take advantage of the new amenities. Additionally, CAA members designated the FBO as CAA Preferred.
The Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) Aviation Division is also making improvements to the airport later this year as part of a $1.4 million project to upgrade the taxiways and runways with all-new pavement and striping. The project is scheduled to take just 45 days and the airport will remain operational during that time. Meanwhile, a private company that flies out of KDKB has preliminary plans to build a new hangar with an attached two-story FBO, which Roach says the county will sublease once it’s completed.
Perhaps KDKB’S claim to fame is the fact that it’s home to one of the premier warbird restoration venues, Ezell Aviation, which brings a wide variety of rare and unique airplanes to the airport regularly and is an invaluable asset to the local economy. Aside from playing a major role in organizing Breckenridge’s annual Memorial Day airshow, the family-owned operation is one of the most experienced vintage aircraft maintenance facilities in the world—having performed maintenance on hundreds of unique, vintage war-era aircraft during its more than 35-year history.
Ezell Aviation also boasts a one-of-a-kind vintage flight museum housing a number of restored warbirds, including a North American B-25 Mitchell, Grumman F6F Hellcat and Lockheed P-38 Lightning. The museum currently is undergoing renovations, but Ezell Aviation plans to open very soon.
“What we are trying to do here is create a special little place in rural Texas,” Roach said.
To learn more about Stephens County Airport, visit co.stephens.tx.us.
To learn more about Phillips 66 branded FBO programs, visit phillips66aviation.com.