Laughlin Air Force Base (AFB) comprises approximately 5,343 acres with 892 facilities and infrastructure assets valued at $537 million. The installation hosts the 47th Flying Training Wing, which conducts Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training for approximately 480 U.S. Air Force and allied pilots annually. The 47th Flying Training Wing is the largest fleet in the Air Force Air Education and Training Command, flying more than 102,000 hours/72,000 sorties per year and managing and operating 248 aircraft.
The Air Force nominated Laughlin Air Force Base as a candidate for the Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) program in 2001. While Val Verde County has maintained a stable population over the last fifteen years, Del Rio's sister city of Cuidad Acuna, Mexico experienced exponential population growth during the same period rising from 25,000 to more than 200,000. City of Del Rio and base officials attested to the impact this growth has had on Del Rio and Val Verde County, where property owners intend to develop commercial and residential properties for middle income entrepreneurs coming from Mexico. This increased commercial and residential growth is likely to occur in close proximity to the base. Local officials planned to undertake a JLUS to provide them with sufficient basis and rational to develop zoning regulations that will guide compatible development with the ongoing military operations
The JLUS was completed in January 2009. The community and the Joint Airport Zoning Board in Del Rio are implementing the JLUS recommendations and are working toward state legislation to provide the authority to zone. Implementation activities will hinge in large part on the continued pursuit of this state legislation.