Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport will add two gates to the B concourse and establish a generic gate system for them.
On Dec. 13, the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport Authority approved a $1.91 million project to install the gates, and Little Rock-based contractor Flynco, the low bidder, was selected to complete the project.
“We’re getting ready to pull the trigger on this project pretty quickly,” Airport Director Kelly Johnson said. If work starts in January, the project should be completed in mid-June.
CEO Scott Van Laningham said XNA was running low on space in the concourse. While a new carrier has yet to begin operating at the airport, it could accommodate another carrier. The A concourse, along the northeast side of the terminal, is where American Airlines, Delta and United Airlines, have their gates. United and low-cost carrier Allegiant operate in the B concourse, at the northwest side of the terminal.
Carriers in the A concourse pay gate rental fees, and carriers in the B concourse operate on a per-turn basis, which is based on landings and takeoffs. “A is clearly the premium space,” Van Laningham said.
Carriers who use the new gates will also operate on a per-turn basis. The plan for the gates is to include a generic gate system. With the system, carriers would upload their logos and flight information to show at the gates, removing restrictions limiting the gates to only one carrier. XNA staff are looking into the hardware required to operate the system.
The gates will be added within the existing terminal footprint, above the area from which Allegiant operates. An existing jet bridge will be used for one of the new gates, and XNA will purchase a second one as part of the project.
It’s a “relatively inexpensive, quick way to pick up two parking positions for airlines,” Van Laningham said.