Federal grants support 2 airport terminal projects in Arkansas

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 2,237 views 

The airports in Northwest Arkansas and Texarkana will receive $13 million and $5 million, respectively, from a terminal improvement program that was established by the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, according to a Thursday (July 7) news release.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation will award nearly $1 billion to 85 U.S. airports for terminal improvement projects for fiscal 2022. The money comes from the Airport Terminal Program, one of three aviation programs created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. It provides $1 billion annually for five years for airport terminal grants.

“Americans deserve modern airports that meet the needs of their families and growing passenger demand,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Funded through President (Joe) Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, today’s grants will improve airport terminals while also creating good jobs in communities across the country.”

Northwest Arkansas National Airport (XNA) in Highfill will receive $13 million for the terminal renovation project that includes the addition of a skybridge, connecting the parking deck to the terminal.

“It is tremendous news for the project,” said Kelly Johnson, chief operating officer and airport director for XNA. “With these funds, it makes it possible to proceed with the project more immediately. We want to thank our delegation in Washington for all their support for this much-needed improvement. Also, we appreciated the Federal Aviation Administration for selecting XNA for the award of this grant through a new nationwide competitive process.”

According to airport documents, the estimated $47.82 million project was expected to start in September and be completed in June 2024. Hight Jackson Associates of Rogers is the architect, and the project design has been completed. Nabholz is the general contractor, and construction/bid documents are being put together now, Johnson said.

The FAA also awarded $5 million to Texarkana Regional Airport (TXK) for a terminal project in which the design is 60% completed. The money allows the airport to combine two phases of the project and will save the airport more than $1 million. The terminal opening is slated for early 2024.

Historically, the FAA has invested in runways, traffic control towers and back-of-house infrastructure. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, or Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, has dedicated money to support terminal projects.

“The work that goes into building safer, more accessible and sustainable terminals will provide opportunities for people across the nation,” said FAA Deputy Administrator A. Bradley Mims. “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a critical investment not only in our nation’s infrastructure but an investment in the future of our country’s workforce.”