Millions in Federal Dollars to Improve Fort Smith Airport

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

The Fort Smith Regional Airport is getting millions in federal money to improve taxiways.

The Federal Aviation Administration awarded nearly $2.5 million to help with the second phase of the airport’s taxiways overhaul.

"Our taxiway has a slight dog leg as it crosses our secondary runway and that was identified as one of the areas that could be improved upon,” said airport director John Parker. “To design the true parallel for our primary runway taxiway."

Parker the second phase will cost roughly $3 million and wouldn’t be possible without the help from state officials who secured the federal dollars.

“This grant was made possible by the support of Congressman Steve Womack, Senator John Boozman and Senator Mark Pryor, who are all big supporters of this program all the way back to 2010,” Parker said.

Travelers support the improvements not only for safety but for ease.

"I think anything that will improve the passenger usability of this facility is a wonderful investment,” said Virginia Stanley.

Business traveler Arlo Blaisus said he’s happy the government is supporting transportation in Arkansas.

“I really think that there’s nothing better that our government could be spending money on" Blaisus said.

A third phase of the project is expected to start in 2014. Parker says the start date will ultimately depend on funding.