CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. — Tom Davis Airport in Crystal River has been allocated $7.1 million in the state budget for a runway expansion.

What You Need To Know

  • Tom Davis Airport is getting $7.1 million in the state budget to expand the runway

  • Captain Tom Davis took over the airport in 1978 to serve as a flight school

  • The timeline for the project looks to be completed sometime in 2025

The airport is a staple in the city and brings in millions of dollars to the economy, but the runway needs to be extended to allow for safer flights.

Captain Tom Davis took over the airport in 1978 after retiring from the U.S. Navy. He initially bought the property to serve as a flight school.

“Aviation training is kind of my background,” he said. “And so I thought that was something I could do in my spare time, which turned out to be not much time to spare.”

One of his big goals when taking over was to expand the runway.

“We have people going out of here with less than the desired load, less fuel than they’d like in order to operate safely from the available runway length,” Davis said.

With $7.1 million, he will now be able to do that.

The runway would extend another 645 feet to allow for safer flights and allow more corporate and private jets to fly in and out.

“There are obviously quite a few steps that have to go through to make sure that all the things are looked in to, most especially environmental concerns, so it looks like the completion date, the project closeout looks to be like July 2025,” said Davis’ daughter and Citrus County Commissioner Holly Davis. 

Delta Airlines pilot Heiko Kallenback is retiring in several months, but doesn’t plan on retiring from flying.

“I’m a captain on the airbus 320,” he said. “I fly out of here for fun — I probably will spend a little bit of time instructing here at Crystal Air Group.”

He said sharing what he knows about flying would be the perfect retirement plan for him and flying from the Tom Davis Airport is icing on the cake.

“There’s a great opportunity to bring students here to Citrus County,” Davis said. “Enjoy the surroundings while they learn to fly.”