Work with a federal agency helped secure a military fuel contract renewal for the Walnut Ridge Regional Airport, Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark, said Wednesday.
The airport was in danger of losing its contract because it failed to meet the sale requirements of at least 50,000 gallons of jet fuel to the military.
Boozman urged the Defense Logistical Agency (DLA), which supports Department of Defense logistics, to reconsider its decision and renew the contract because of the negative impact it would have on emergency preparedness.
“I’m pleased that the leadership of the Defense Logistics Agency carefully considered the concerns that we raised about the cancelation of a fuel contract at Walnut Ridge Regional Airport and decided against pursuing that course of action. This airport has an important role as a disaster relief staging area and its ability to function in this capacity without a DLA fuel contract would put emergency preparedness in jeopardy. Walnut Ridge is within the New Madrid Seismic Area and there exists a potential for damaging earthquakes. The Arkansas National Guard and Department of Emergency Management had raised concerns over the loss of this contract and how it would affect disaster relief operations in the region,” Boozman said.
Airport officials were happy with the announcement.
“Sen. Boozman and his staff have solved a major problem that was facing our airport. The military fuel contract is critically important to Walnut Ridge Airport and the many military aircraft that use our facilities. We cannot thank Sen. Boozman enough for resolving this issue,” airport manager Michelle Anthony said.
The contract will be renewed, subject to pricing negotiations between DLA and Walnut Ridge.