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15 Years of XNA: A Trip Back

HIGHFILL, AR -- 15 years ago, the first plane touched down at Northwest Arkansas' own airfield.
HIGHFILL, AR -- 15 years ago, the first plane touched down at Northwest Arkansas' own airfield.

"Finally after a lot of hard work by a lot of really, really influential people, it happened... This is the output of three attempts over several decades to get a regional airport built. The third times the charm so they say," said Kelly Johnson, Airport Director at the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport.

XNA opened at a fraction of the size it is today, but even on a smaller scale, November 1, 1998 was a day to celebrate

"Air Force One came in for the grand opening and lots of folks came out. There were thousands of people."

Runways and terminals were constructed in the City of Highfill. For some, a seemingly odd place to build an airport.

"I think there were 19 different sites that were reviewed and this site came out as the top in the priority listing based on geography, location, environmental concerns as I mentioned, that's how it all came to be."

A lot has changed since 1998 and while XNA's success is taking off, the past paved the way.

"It was really a unique experience. I think we were the third green field airport in a period of 25 years to be constructed and open so, that doesn't happen everyday. It was great to be a part of it."

Be sure to watch the Fox News Edge and KNWA News on Thursday to learn how social media is playing a major role and making an impact on how XNA communicates with customers!

Take a look at some of the pictures from the construction of XNA.
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