Texas ARDF: Amateur Radio Direction Finding
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2016 United States ARDF Championships

Travel to the United States

Citizens of many countries do not need a visa to travel to the USA for tourism, which includes "participation by amateurs in musical, sports, or similar events or contests, if not being paid for participating." If you are traveling from a country that requires a visa, get information from the US embassy or consulate in your country. If you need a letter of invitation, send your request to the contact e-mail for the championship organizers.

Air Transportation

The city of Killeen, Texas is served by the Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport (GRK) with daily flights on American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines. Other nearby airports include:

Airport City Approximate distance
to Killeen, TX
Waco Regional Airport (ACT) Waco, TX 65 miles (105 km)
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) Austin, TX 75 miles (120 km)
San Antonio International Airport (SAT) San Antonio, TX 135 miles (220 km)
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) Grapevine, TX 170 miles (275 km)
George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) Houston, TX 200 miles (320 km)

Despite being a larger city than Killeen, Waco's airport (ACT) is actually very small and is only serviced with a small number of flights on American Airlines to/from DFW. AUS has more daily flights overall than SAT, and Austin now has direct flights to London Heathrow (LHR) via British Airways. DFW and IAH are both large hub airports with many international flight options. (DFW is the ninth busiest airport in the world and fourth busiest airport in the United States.) For travel on Sunday after the competition, we suggest not scheduling a flight out of GRK before 4:00 PM, ACT or AUS before 5:00 PM, SAT or DFW before 6:00 PM, or IAH before 7:00 PM.

Train Transportation

For those who prefer rail transport, Amtrak Temple Station in Temple, Texas is served by the Texas Eagle. It travels between Chicago and San Antonio daily and arrives in Temple northbound at 11:25 AM and southbound at 4:43 PM. Bus service connects to Killeen and Fort Hood.

Ground Transportation

Competitors and visitors are expected to provide their own ground transportation during their stay, as is customary at American orienteering events. Persons who will need transportation assistance to the event site, or to/from an airport, bus or train station must notify the organizers at the time of registration and we will try to accomodate if possible. There is public bus service in the Killeen area, but it does not go to any of the competition areas.

Part of State Highway 130 has an 85 MPH speed limit.

The greater Austin, DFW, and Houston metro areas all have toll roads. The toll roads in the Austin metro area no longer have toll booths that accept cash. Texas residents can sign up for TxTag, an RFID-based window sticker with a declining balance account. Those without TxTags simply drive through the toll gates (at highway speed,) cameras take images of the vehicle license plate, and the toll authority will send the vehicle owner a bill in the mail. The pay-by-mail rate is 33% higher than the TxTag rate. If you are renting a car, check with the rental car company about how to use and pay for tolls with their vehicles (they will likely charge your credit card directly, but may charge additional management fees.) You will not need to use toll roads to reach any of the competition sites, however, the northern end of the State Highway 130 toll road is close to Berry Spring Park and Preserve, and the State Highway 130 toll road is likely the fastest route between Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and the Killeen area. South of the Austin airport, a portion of the State Highway 130 toll road has a speed limit of 85 MPH (137 KPH), the highest legal speed limit in the United States. Click here for more information on pay-by-mail toll rates in the Austin area.

Farm to Market Road 2670 is near Parrie Haynes Ranch

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) maintains many roads as part of the state highway system that are not large enough to qualify as state highways. These numbered roads carry FM (Farm-to-Market) or RM (Ranch-to-Market) designations and all have one- to four-digit numbers. The designation of a road as FM or RM is arbitrary, and as all the road numbers are unique state-wide, the FM and RM designations are sometimes interchanged. Roads signs for FM roads will say "Farm Road" while road sign for RM roads will say "Ranch Road." Ranch to Market roads are sometimes abbreviated as RR ("Ranch Road"), but you will probably never see Farm to Market road abbreviated as FR ("Farm Road") even though that's actually what the road signs say. Due to the growth of cities and suburbs, some FM and RM roads are now partially or even entirely in urban areas and no longer serve rural farming and ranching communities. An effort to establish an "Urban Road" (UR) designation for those roads has been mostly abandoned, and they retain their FM or RM signs today.

County Roads (CR) in Texas can also be numbered and typically have three- or four-digit designations, depending on the county. Those numbers can overlap the numbers in use for FM and RM roads, although you should not encounter the same number being used for both a CR road and an FM/RM road in the same county.


Send comments to: Ken Harker WM5R wm5r@wm5r.org
Last updated: 17 April 2016