Fort Worth Alliance Airport has officially been renamed in honor of the life and legacy of billionaire businessman and two-time presidential candidate H. Ross Perot Sr.
Officials from Hillwood, the company that donated the land for the 33-year-old airport, joined representatives of the city of Fort Worth and the Federal Aviation Administration along with invited guests Dec. 15 to celebrate the name change, which officially occurred during the summer.
Plans were announced for development of a memorial plaza with a bronze statute of Perot, who died in 2019, on the west side of the air traffic control tower. Perot Plaza will complement Bob Bolen Plaza and the Honor Guard installation.
Perot, a Texarkana native who became one of Dallas’ most renowned residents, earned his self-made wealth in the technology field through the founding of Electronic Data Systems in 1962. Known as a generous philanthropist, Perot was also a successful real estate developer. He ran unsuccessfully for president in 1992 and 1996.
“My dad wholeheartedly believed Fort Worth Alliance Airport would be the centerpiece of an unprecedented jobs corridor in Texas,” said Ross Perot Jr., chairman of The Perot Group and Hillwood, in a statement.
“Investing in the northwest corner of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex mattered to him, and he immediately saw its potential,” Perot stated. “The airport became the catalyst for one of the great Texas business stories of our day, and we’re only halfway through.”
The airport opened on Dec. 14, 1989, and was the first airport ever built and specifically designated for industrial use.
The airport, now named Perot Field Fort Worth Alliance Airport, was the result of a collaboration among Hillwood, the city of Fort Worth and the FAA.
Owned by the city and privately-managed by Alliance Air Services, the airport’s flight services include air operations and corporate and government aviation. The airport is a regional hub for Amazon cargo operations, which has made it one of the largest cargo airports in the country by weight.
More than 500 major companies, including FedEx, Kraft Foods, JCPenney and Walmart have operations on 27,000 acres surrounding the airport.
“AllianceTexas, anchored by the world’s first industrial airport, has proven to be a modern-day, Texas-sized success story, encapsulating the pioneering and can-do spirit so often associated with the state,” Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker stated. “The development has contributed to more than $100 billion in cumulative economic impact to the region since its inception, as well as more than $3.1 billion in paid property taxes, including $621.5 million to Fort Worth alone. Fort Worth will remain a full-fledged partner with Alliance Airport and AllianceTexas, just as it has been since Day 1 with former mayors Bob Bolen and Kay Granger.”
Besides Parker and Ross Perot Jr., guests at the ceremony included T. Allan McArtor, former Federal Aviation Administration administrator; Ignacio Flores, director of airports for the Southwest Region of the FAA; and Mike Berry, president of Hillwood.
Guests also had the opportunity to tour the newly expanded fixed-based operation space, which includes more hangar space and upgraded terminal space for flight crews and passengers for private and general aviation flights.