The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has awarded more than $4.5 million in federal stimulus money to Arkansas airports, including $4.38 million to Northwest Arkansas National Airport (XNA) in Highfill. U.S. Sens. John Boozman, R-Ark., and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and U.S. Reps. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, and Steve Womack, R-Rogers, announced Friday (Feb. 26) the grants will help to offset costs and maintain jobs as a result of COVID-19 and provide for increased sanitization to combat the spread of pathogens at airports.
The DOT, through the Federal Aviation Administration, will give the money appropriated through the Coronavirus Relief and Response Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, which Congress approved in December. All federal legislators from Arkansas supported the act.
“The air travel industry has experienced dramatic disruption and losses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic,” the legislators said. “Relief measures aimed at blunting the impact of the economic damage were necessary, and we are pleased to see those funds being delivered in support of airports and airfields in Arkansas. National and regional airports connect our communities to commerce and economic activity, so it is important to provide them assistance so they continue to remain viable.”
Following are the grant recipients and amounts:
- Northwest Arkansas National Airport (XNA), $4,382,255
- Rogers Executive Airport – Carter Field, $91,162
- De Witt Municipal Airport/Whitcomb Field in Arkansas County, $13,000
- Thompson-Robbins Airport in Phillips County, $9,000
- Delta Regional Airport in St. Francis County, $13,000
- Walnut Ridge Regional Airport in Lawrence County, $13,000
On Dec. 27, former President Donald Trump signed the CRRSA. The deadline to apply for the program’s grants is June 30, 2021.
The first stimulus package, which was approved in March 2020, provided $51 million for Arkansas airports. XNA received $8.21 million of that amount.