David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport
|David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport|
|Airport type||Public-use, privately owned|
|Elevation AMSL||152 ft / 46 m|
David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport (IATA: DWH, ICAO: KDWH, FAA LID: DWH) is a public-use airport located near the city of Tomball in unincorporated Harris County, Texas. It is 23 miles (37 km) northwest of the central business district of Houston. It is the busiest general aviation airport in Texas and one of the busiest general aviation airports in the United States. The airport is privately owned by Jag Gill.
The airport is notable because it is one of only a few privately owned airports with a Federal Aviation Administration control tower; the airport is owned by Jag Gill and managed by Robert Schmidt.
On June 27, 2007, The Texas State Legislature approved Tomball's request to annex Hooks Airport even though the airport does not border the Tomball city limits. Since the airport is in the city of Houston's extraterritorial jurisdiction, the city of Tomball must get permission from Houston to annex the airport. As of summer of 2010, the annex still has not been finalized.
Facilities and aircraft
David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport covers an area of 480 acres (190 ha) which contains two asphalt paved runways: 17R/35L measuring 7,009 x 100 ft (30 m). and 17L/35R measuring 3,987 x 35 ft (1,215 x 11 m). It also has a seaplane landing area designated as runway 17W/35W which is 2,530 x 100 ft (771 x 30 m).
For the 12-month period ending August 5, 2002, the airport had 223,585 aircraft operations, an average of 612 per day: 98% general aviation, 1% air taxi and 1% military. There are 300 aircraft based at this airport: 83% single-engine, 10% multi-engine, 3% jet and 4% helicopter.
- The main Gill Aviation terminal
- The Aviator Grill, a locally owned and operated restaurant connected to the Gill Aviation terminal. The grill is a popular community restaurant, and provides a spectacular view of the main ramps and runway 17R.
- Tomball Jet Center
- Helicopter Services Inc.
- LifeFlight Alert center, with Memorial Herman Hospital operated LifeFlight 4 on permanent standby.
- Sunrise Helicopter,Inc.
The airport was also previously a local favorite for its diverse mix of aircraft and openness. However, as of March 2012, citing safety concerns from pilots, barbed wire fencing went up around the airport, sealing off the previously popular observation areas and leaving only the inside of Aviator's Grill as the sole observation area for the public.
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The Airport started when Charles Hooks built a runway for his own personal use. His hobby eventually became a business, and he subsequently built a runway and a main terminal building. It was first opened for public use in the 1960s. Shortly after its opening, Hooks' son, David, was killed in the crash of a small plane that he was piloting under the supervision of a flight instructor. All four people on the plane were killed. David was about 16 years old at the time of his death. The airport's name was changed from Houston Northwest Airport to David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport in his memory.
Until the 1980s, the airport was run and maintained by Hooks, and his wife Irma. Upon the death of Mrs. Hooks, her daughter stepped in and helped with its operation.
In 1989, Charles Hooks retired and sold the airport to the Gill Family.
In 2009 a fire occurred at the airport. A man was burned, and several aircraft were destroyed.
On June 26, 2010, another fire occurred at the airport, destroying another large hangar. One helicopter and several aircraft components were destroyed.
In early 2010, Hooks Airport received a notable resident when the B-17G Flying Fortress 'Texas Raiders' was permanently moved from William P. Hobby Airport to a spacious hangar in the Tomball Jet Center as a cost-saving measure. 'Texas Raiders' will use Hooks Airport as her base of operations for the 2010 air show season and into the foreseeable future.
- FAA Airport Master Record for DWH ( PDF), effective 2007-10-25
- "Tomball gets OK to annex airport / Legislation clears one hurdle in city's quest to buy Hooks." Houston Chronicle. July 5, 2007.
- Staff. "Man burned, planes damaged in airport fire." Houston Chronicle. December 6, 2009. Retrieved on December 7, 2009.
- "Fire Erupts at Hooks Airport " KIAH-TV
- "Refurbished B-17 headed for Hooks Airport " Ultimate Tomball
- David Wayne Hooks Airport, official web site
- Resources for this airport: