Airport Officials Unsure About 188th Fire Service

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Uncertainty and a new mission at the 188th Fighter wing mean possible job cuts. The unit provides fire service at the Fort Smith Regional Airport, but a mission change means it may have to find other firefighters.

“Far exceeds the FAA required level of fire protection,” said John Parker, airport director, “It’s a fantastic service provided to us.”

Airport Director John Parker says the Federal Aviation Administration requires them to have fire service. If the 188th Fighter Wing eliminates the crew on base, the airport will have to find someone else to do the job. “That’s something that we have not been told will occur,” said Parker.

Parker told our partners at TheCityWire.com for now they will wait until final decisions are made to see what the impact of those budget cuts means for the airport. “We would continue to be responsible for those services regardless of who’s providing them,” said Parker.

The city says it is still way too early to talk about Fort Smith firefighters providing service at the airport.