Mineral Wells is an ideal location for the development, manufacturing, and testing of unmanned aerial systems (UAS).
In fact, a local company, S-Tec Corporation’s Unmanned Technologies division, was involved in such activities in the 1980s, 1990s and the early 2000s. Later in that decade, DRS Technologies acquired S-Tec Unmanned Technologies and continued their UAS program until about 2006, when they moved the operation to a DRS location in Florida. All of the developmental flight testing and demonstrations for UAS were conducted at the Mineral Wells Airport or numerous test sites in the area.
Mineral Wells Airport and the surrounding area offers an excellent location for UAS operations:
- Only a 45-minute drive (and shorter flight time) from Fort Worth and the DFW Metroplex
- Only about an hour’s drive to DFW Airport
- Located just outside the DFW Terminal Control Area – makes all kinds of aircraft operations, including UAS, much easier
- 6000 ft lighted main runway, equipped with ILS
- 4000 ft lighted secondary runway
- Full-service FBO on the airport, offering very competitively-priced fuel, including volume discounts for Jet A
- Recently-renovated terminal building offers comfortable seating, a crew lounge, and crew car
- Variety of good restaurants and reasonably-priced, high-quality hotels within 1 to 3 miles of the airport
- Variety of excellent recreational opportunities in the area
- Rental cars available
The airport has space available for lease to aviation-related businesses. An 80 ft x 400 ft section of Downing Hangar and two buildings suitable for manufacturing and office space are just a few feet from the hangar:
- Fifty-four acres of tarmac is available for flight testing small UAS and the construction of related facilities.
- Dozens of acres of undeveloped land is available for new construction of hangars, as well as manufacturing and office space.
- Take advantage of hundreds of square miles of open terrain around the airport that provides many excellent areas for UAS flight testing.
- The City of Mineral Wells offers incentives and special financing programs to qualified businesses wishing to locate operations on the airport.