New Airport Name Honors Aviation Icon

Aviation icon and soon-to-be namesake of the Georgetown airport, Johnny Gantt spent almost 50 years spearheading a thriving flight industry in Georgetown and putting the city on the aviation world map.

Following Johnny’s death in 2019, cattle rancher and Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Chair Jim Schwertner sought to honor his legacy by advocating for the renaming of Georgetown Municipal Airport to Georgetown Executive Airport at Johnny Gantt Field. The City Council backed the proposal and voted in November in favor of the name change before passing it to TxDOT for final approval. “It’s very deserving,” Johnny’s business partner Larry Wood says. “Johnny did so much here. He was such an aviation icon.”

A plane ride in high school inspired Johnny’s pilot dream and led him to buy his first plane with the money he earned working nights at a cotton gin. At 19 years old, he became a civilian flight instructor at Gary Air Base in San Marcos, ultimately finding his way to Georgetown to develop an industry that barely existed at the time—aircraft resale. He built two 20,000-square-foot hangars at the airport, at the city’s request, in an effort to turn the airport into a profitable business for Georgetown. 

He also co-founded the National Aircraft Resale Association, which has recently been re-marketed as the International Aircraft Dealers Association. Johnny became known as a trusted dealer of quality airplanes and received his lifetime achievement award in 2019. His business, Gantt Aviation, brought people from all over the world to Georgetown to buy aircrafts. “Georgetown became a place known around the world in aviation circles,” says Jay Gantt, Johnny’s son and president of Gantt Aviation.

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