Temple Executive Air Center, a city-owned and managed FBO at Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Airport (KTPL), opened on November 1. The new facility replaced operations that were previously housed in the adjacent Elmer Reed General Aviation Terminal. The $7.4 million dollar project was designed to help to better meet the demand at the Central Texas airport, as well as stimulate growth for the city of Temple.
Originally called the Temple Army Air Field, the airport dates back to 1942 when it was a training base for the U.S. Army Air Forces . Following the end of World War II, it was sold to the city of Temple and renamed Draughon-Miller Airport, after two Temple aviators who died during the war.
Andrew Hill, the manager for the recently opened FBO, said that a benefit of being a “growing but small-town airport” is the close relationship that it is able to build with airfield tenants and visitors.
“Our motto is ‘Exceptional Service Without Exception,’ and our new customer service team, which hadn’t existed yet at the airport, has done a great job with that and are representing the TEAC brand well,” Hill said. “A highlight as we are going out to sell the FBO to the world is our geographical location. We’re centrally located between the major metropolitan areas in Texas and are a great halfway point for East to West Coast travel. And we’ll park you under the awning, which is not very common for a municipally run FBO to have an aircraft awning that will fit up to a Global Express to keep you out of the rain and the heat, which we get plenty of. We will be able to care of those cross-country transient customers and have the quickest quick turn in in style—and [have] some of the best fuel prices.”
The FBO itself has always been owned and managed by the city. And by design, Temple Executive Air Center will vary greatly from its predecessor, especially when it comes to the design of the facility and customer service philosophy.
“We knew that with this new facility we wanted to rebrand and remarket ourselves,” Hill said. “A city-owned and operated FBO doesn’t always get good marks or recommendations from pilots. They usually think of high prices and terrible customer service. So, we followed their (and FBO consultant) advice, tweaked it a little bit, and came up with a brand-new name. We decided to market it as a separate entity from Draughon-Miller Airport, so that it has the look and feel of a privately owned FBO with great customer service and amenities,”