The Federal Aviation Administration has greenlit grant money for Texarkana Regional Airport to fund the design of two major projects.
Airport Director Mark Mellinger told Airport Authority Board members that the FAA will fund 90 percent of a projected $1.2 million cost in grants to cover engineering fees for designing an extended taxiway for the airport—with the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics picking up the remaining 10 percent. The same federal and state funding formula will also cover a projected $697,445 needed to design a new passenger terminal. Little Rock-based McClelland Engineering firm will design both projects.
Mellinger said the money for both design projects should be available sometime this summer, after which engineering work can start.
Mellinger added that he attended an Arkansas Aeronautics Commission meeting earlier this week, where commissioners approved granting the airport more than $333,500 to pay for the primary runway's rehabilitation project. Another grant, which will be nearly equal in size (about $300,000) will be available to the airport next month to cover most of the rest of the rehab's cost.
In other business, Mellinger told board members that the airport is making substantial progress in clearing out overgrown brush in and around the airport's old Air Force buildings and radar dome—which were in operation between 1952 and 1968. He added that the cleanup effort aided in getting two non-flyable military aircraft—one a old British jet—sold to a local buyer. Future continued cleanup will focus on getting mold cleaned out of the buildings.