XNA uses federal money for terminal, taxiway work

by Jeff Della Rosa (JDellaRosa@nwabj.com) 472 views 

Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport recently completed work on two new gates in the terminal. The Highfill airport used federal grant money for the project.

The Federal Aviation Administration recently awarded $3.55 million to Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) for projects to improve the terminal and rehabilitate the taxiway.

The grant will pay for 90% of a project to add two new gates in the terminal and 90% of the design work to reconstruct Taxiway B. XNA is responsible for the remainder of the costs. Garver completed the design work, and Emery Sapp & Sons of Columbia, Mo., is the contractor for the first phase of the more than $18 million project, said Kelly Johnson, chief operating officer and airport director for XNA. The contractor recently was approved to complete the final segments of the Bella Vista Bypass in Arkansas and is working on a project to extend Dixieland Road in Lowell.

Construction on the taxiway started in March, and the project is expected to be completed in about a year, said Tim House, director of planning, programming, design, engineering and construction for XNA.

“This past spring and early summer have been especially wet, and they have had a higher than average number of days that they could not work, due to poor site conditions,” House said. “The contractor has managed the poor weather well and seems to be on schedule for an on-time completion next spring.”

The second phase of the taxiway project will take place when funding becomes available, Johnson said.

The new gates in the terminal were available for use in June, she said. The gates include a generic gate system that allows any existing carrier to operate from them as opposed to a traditional gate dedicated to one carrier. Low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines started operating from the new gates in June. Carriers such as American Airlines or charter services also have used the gates. Little Rock-based Flynco Inc. was selected to install the gates as part of a $1.91 million project.

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