The 5,302-foot runway at Springdale Municipal Airport has reopened after a $2.2 million project to resurface the runway and install LED lighting.
The city of Springdale celebrated the completion of the project Tuesday (Oct. 2). The runway was closed for two weeks during the project, which was paid for through grants from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics.
On June 8, Secretary Elaine Chao of the U.S. Department of Transportation announced the FAA would give $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. As one of the grant recipients, the Springdale airport was awarded $2.88 million to rehabilitate the runway and to install runway lighting. The federal money was a combination of entitlement and discretionary funding.
The project was completed under budget and one day ahead of schedule, said project manager Adam White of engineering firm Garver. Design work started about six months ago, and in the project, the runway received 10,000 tons of asphalt and a net gain of 3 inches of asphalt. The airport previously completed a resurfacing project 20 years ago, and the new asphalt is expected to last at least 20 years. Along the runway, 5 acres of sod were placed to make for a flush surface with the runway. Also, 30 signs, 15,000 linear feet of electrical wiring and 75 LED lights were installed.
Emery Sapp & Sons of Springfield, Mo., was the general contractor. Hutchens Construction of Cassville, Mo., completed the paving, and H & H Electric of Hot Springs did the electrical work.
With more than 100 aircraft based in Springdale, the general aviation airport is one of the busiest in the state. In 2017, the number of operations, which includes takeoffs and landings, rose 20% to 33,077. In August, operations rose 15.4% to 3,812, from the same month in 2017.
Between 2017 and 2021, infrastructure needs for U.S. airports are expected to be $99.9 billion or nearly $20 billion annually, according to trade organization Airport Council International – North America. The estimate is a 31.9% increase from the 2015 estimate of $75.4 billion or $15.1 billion per year. The 2015 estimate included projected needs from 2015 to 2019.
Nearly 3,400 existing and proposed airports in the United States are eligible to receive federal grants under the AIP, according to the FAA.