Airport director: 2023 saw highest number of revenue passengers since 1999

Board of Directors to receive budget update tonight from Texarkana Regional

Texarkana Regional Airport. (Gazette file photo)
Texarkana Regional Airport. (Gazette file photo)

TEXARKANA, Ark. -- A budget update from Texarkana Regional Airport tops the agenda for a city Board of Directors meeting Tuesday.

Paul Mehrlich, the airport's executive director of aviation, is expected to make the presentation. The meeting will be at 6 p.m. in the boardroom at the Municipal Building, 216 Walnut St.

According to meeting documents, the airport conducted 23,070 operations in 2023 -- a 30% decline over 2019, the last year before the pandemic, and a 25% dip over 2022.

Last year also brought an increase in revenue passengers. The 43,224 enplanements for 2023 represent an 11% increase over 2019 and 19% increase over 2022.

For the final three months of 2023, the airport reported $3,433,065 in revenue, according to meeting documents. Expenditures were $2,007,991.

Mehrlich said the enplanement numbers are the best the airport has seen since 1999, and have Texarkana Regional hopeful for 2024.

"Luckily, this growth has brought in more revenue than we had anticipated and is allowing us to reimburse the cities for the first time," Mehrlich said in an email to the Gazette.

The Texarkanas share ownership of the airport and make financial contributions to its operation. According to meeting documents, the airport used $368,641 of its Quarter 4 revenue to reimburse the Twin Cities -- $203,641 for the Texas side and $165,341 for the Arkansas side.

In other business, the Board will adopt a resolution authorizing the city manager to enter a contract with --

Belt Construction for Nix Creek sewer improvements

Steitler Properties for the production of a concert at Front Street Festival Plaza.

The meeting was rescheduled from the usual Monday to Tuesday, since Monday was a holiday.

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