The renovation project has been in the works for years, but now Arkansas' Department of Aeronautics is helping out with a $150,000 grant. According to the city of Springdale, its airport is the third busiest in the state and with continuous traffic, easy access is important.
Currently, the airport shares an entrance road with an elementary school and day-care center. Traffic becomes a problem for business travelers who need to get to meetings. Wyman Morgan with the city says they are still waiting on some last minute funds from the federal aviation administration. That money will help pay for a new access road.
Morgan said, "If they get tied up in traffic for 45 minutes, then it creates a pretty good hardship for them. That kind of gives us a black mark right off the bat when they can't get out of the airport to go look at the sites or the industries or where they are thinking about locating."
However, not everyone is pleased with city's priorities. Bill Adams owns Flaps Down Grill, located inside the airport. He said he's happy the city is making some changes, but he hoped they would start with the terminal.
Adams said, the terminal building is one of the first things people see. "You can tell this building is dated from the early eighties. It just kind of shows the doorway to Springdale as being something not quite as kept up."
The city expects to receive additional grant money from the FAA by August and construction on the road is expected to start in September.
Meanwhile a new "fuel farm" project is underway thanks to the state grant. Morgan said a new fuel farm is necessary to keep up with the amount of flight traffic, and the new access road will be built in place of the current fuel farm--located just down the road from the current entrance to the airport.
Once these projects are underway, Morgan said the city plans to renovate the terminal building. He said that includes adding more space for the Flaps Down Grill.
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