Jonesboro Municipal Airport receives $5 million to build new airport terminal

by George Jared ([email protected]) 399 views 

The Jonesboro Municipal Airport will receive a $5 million in grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said. The grant will be used to build a new airport terminal, after the old one and numerous hangars were destroyed in the March 2020 tornado.

The Airport Commission will add to the grant with $1.3 million in funding, Airport Manager George Jackson said. A time table for building the new terminal was not released.

“This EDA grant will help ensure that Jonesboro Municipal Airport has the infrastructure needed to increase shipping services, expand regional travel, and create more good paying jobs that will transform the local economy,” Raimondo said.

Mayor Harold Copenhaver said this fills a need he has talked about with U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton, and U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, since taking the mayor’s office in 2021. He also thanked the East Arkansas Planning and Development District for its work with EDA.

“This is just another commitment from Sens. Boozman and Cotton, and Rep. Crawford to our airport and its significant impact on our community,” Copenhaver said. “With this funding, plus the $5 million that was allocated in a number of grants last year, air travel to and from Jonesboro is going to be much better for decades to come.”

Boozman noted the importance of Jonesboro’s economic contributions as the anchor of Northeast Arkansas, as well as the extensive damage of the tornado that ripped through the heart of the city.

“The community rallied together to rebuild and revitalize the opportunity that this grant will accelerate through rehabilitating and upgrading key travel infrastructure,” Boozman said. “I’m pleased this investment will further the recovery effort by improving the airport’s functionality and potential for growth, and in turn benefit the entire region.”

“This pivotal support will undoubtedly propel our regional growth and enhance the airport’s vital role in Northeast Arkansas,” Jackson said.

The funding comes from the federal Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2023, which provided $483 million in Economic Adjustment Assistance to areas that suffered major disasters in 2021 and 2022.