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The original item was published from 9/26/2023 6:23:00 PM to 10/1/2023 12:00:06 AM.

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City News

Posted on: September 26, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Council approves new name for GRK airport

Name change could be official by end of year

The Killeen City Council during its Tuesday night meeting voted to change the name of Killeen’s commercial airport (GRK) from Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport to Killeen Regional Airport.


The name change is part of a major rebranding effort, which includes a new website, headed by marketing consultant, Jeremiah Gerald with ASM Global Route.  


The decision to change the name came about after Fort Hood changed its name to Fort Cavazos, following a federal mandate to change the name of military installations named after Confederate figures. 


Cities are not included in the federal mandate, and are not obligated to update any titles/names. GRK decided to do so as part of the rebranding effort that they began before federal regulations on redesignating military installations became effective.


“The airport was originally named Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport because of our connection with Fort Hood,” Executive Director of Aviation told the Council. “Since (the name) Fort Hood no longer exists, this is an opportunity to change the name. 


“One of the issues we’ve always had historically is that, even though the airport is 19 years old, people still think because of the name, the airport is that it’s a military airport and they can’t use it, or if they know they can use it, it’s on post and have to go through the checkpoint. So this gives us an opportunity to correct that.”


After two focus group sessions, getting survey feedback from 80 stakeholders, and interviewing dozens of passengers at the airport between June and August 2023, two final names were selected to present to City Council: Greater Killeen Regional Airport and Killeen Regional Airport.


GRK opened in 2004, as part of a partnership with Fort Hood, allowing the airport to use runways and taxiways from Fort Hood’s Robert Gray Airfield. The airfield is named after Robert “Bob” Gray, a Killeen native and pilot who was chosen by Lt. Col. Jimmie Doolittle to fly in the famous Doolittle Raid over Tokyo during World War II. He was selected to fly alongside 80 other pilots who struck military and industrial targets in a daring raid on the Japanese mainland. The 10,000-foot runway allows the airport to safely land most of the largest jets currently in use today. Currently, GRK is serviced by American Airlines, which provides daily flights to and from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.  


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