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Texarkana airport given funds from Biden administration infrastructure act

by Gazette Staff | February 27, 2023 at 11:25 a.m.
A construction crane hoists the first roof beam on Texarkana Regional Airport's new passenger terminal Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Texarkana, Ark. The terminal is targeted for opening in 2024. (Submitted photo by Tyler Brown)

Texarkana Regional Airport's new terminal was given a shot in the arm Monday courtesy of federal funding from the Biden administration's infrastructure law.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced the airport will receive $4,275,000 in funds to build the new terminal.

"Americans deserve the best airports in the world, and with demand for air travel surging back, this funding to improve the passenger experience couldn't come at a more urgent time," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. "These grants will make it faster and easier to check your bags, get through security, and find your gate, all while creating jobs and supporting local economies."

This adds to $5 million the airport received last year from a similar grant.

"This funding allowed the airport to get 10 years ahead on projects from where we would have been," Texarkana Regional Airport Executive Director Paul MehrLich said. "Across the nation, airports have needed this money for a long time and if we can keep this kind of support, airports can continue to grow and we need this nationwide."

This grant funds the final phase of construction for the new terminal building, according to an FAA release. The funding will be used to complete the exterior site work, which includes accessible sidewalks, security fencing, concrete driveways, and impact rated bollards.

"We went through the competitive process and explained the terminal building we are building, and that these funds would allow us to completely finish out the fourth phase of construction," Mehrlich said. "This opened a new pot of money to get that building across the finish line."

He elaborated this grant will allow the completion of jet bridges and connections to tie aircraft to the aircraft apron.

"Today's funding doesn't just improve Texarkana Regional Airport's terminal. It creates opportunities in the community for good-paying jobs and a chance to be part of our country's thriving aviation sector," said FAA Deputy Administrator A. Bradley Mims.

Mehrlich said terminal construction is still on track to be completed by the summer of 2024.

"Once this is complete, we are going to immediately look at lengthening and strengthening our main runway, which will allow us to fly in cargo containers and low cost carriers like Spirit Airlines that can fly further and direct," he said.

Currently, American Airlines is the only carrier using Texarkana Regional Airport. They fly to DFW Airport.

The funding is from the Airport Terminal Program, one of three aviation programs created by the bipartisan infrastructure law known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The law provides $1 billion annually for five years for Airport Terminal grants.

Print Headline: Texarkana airport given FAA funds to finish terminal


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