Four Arkansas airports will receive $20.96 million in federal grants, with $13.61 million of the money allocated to repair the taxiway at Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) in Highfill.
On Friday (June 8), Secretary Elaine Chao of the U.S. Department of Transportation, announced the Federal Aviation Administration will award $677 million in airport infrastructure grants as the first allotment of the total $3.18 billion in Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding for U.S. airports. The 241 grants will pay for 346 infrastructure projects for runways, taxiways, aprons and terminals.
Along with XNA, airports in Mena, Springdale and Stuttgart also received the federal grant money. Mena Intermountain Municipal Airport (MEZ) will receive $3.47 million to renovate its taxiway. Springdale Municipal Airport (ASG) will receive $2.88 million for runway lighting and to rehabilitate its runway. Stuttgart Municipal Airport (SGT) will receive $996,921 to rehabilitate its runway.
The federal money is a combination of entitlement and discretionary funding.
“If you want a strong transportation system, you have to invest in airport infrastructure,” Chao said. “Airports are the backbone of aviation. These communities are going to reap greater safety, efficiency and economic dividends for years to come.”
U.S. civil aviation accounts for $1.6 trillion in economic activity and supports 11 million jobs, according to the FAA’s recent economic analysis.