XNA to widen scope of terminal project

by Jeff Della Rosa (JDellaRosa@nwabj.com) 690 views 

Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) looks to broaden the design scope for a project to expand and renovate the terminal as it works to hire a chief financial officer and chief business development officer.

During a recent meeting, members of the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport Authority discussed expanding the scope beyond the plans to renovate and expand the entrance of the terminal and build a sky bridge connecting the terminal to the parking deck. The board in October approved a $1.87 million contract with Hight Jackson Associates of Rogers for project design and hired Nabholz to complete preconstruction work leading up to determining the guaranteed maximum price for the project. Hight Jackson is working on the project with RS&H, Garver, Terracon and Connico.

XNA CEO Aaron Burkes plans to review Hight Jackson’s scope of work with the architect and present a revised plan to members of the board’s operations committee in April. Burkes said the work could be expanded to focus on the airport as a whole, possibly incorporating art elements and a nearly 80-room hotel in the design. Burkes said he didn’t believe changing the design scope would impact the project timeline or cost.

Board chairwoman Blake Woolsey said the design could be expanded to determine a cohesive brand and sense of place for the airport, and this would not only be the work of the board. Woolsey explained XNA might seek the expertise of other organizations, such as the Walton Family Foundation.

XNA recently started to interview applicants for the positions of chief financial officer and chief business development officer. The airport received 50 applications for CFO and 26 for chief business development officer.

In other business, board members approved a $2,000 salary increase for XNA’s police officers and sergeants and set the starting pay range for new officers between $37,911 and $40,281. The adjustments were based on recommendations of Blair Johanson, principal partner of consulting company Johanson Group.

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