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Springdale Airport Plans Renovation

A major facelift is on the way for Springdale's airport in an effort to make the terminal a regional attraction.
A major facelift is on the way for Springdale's airport in an effort to make the terminal a regional attraction.

Airport commissioners hired an architect Thursday to modernize the decades old building, and add more space.

"There was a time 20 years ago when this restaurant was full on a Saturday," says Bill Adams. "You could not get a seat."

But last year the kitchen at Springdale's airport closed down, and Adams stepped in to open the Flaps Down Grill.

Adams learned to fly in Springdale, and after taking over the space eight months ago his business is taking off.

"I've seen people coming in that the airport hasn't seen in ten, fifteen years," Adams says. "It's started to have its own reputation of having good food, (and) good service."

The restaurant has been so successful, it's running out of room, so the city is planning to renovate the airport. They're considering filling in a hole in the second floor to add more seating.

"Local sales tax is generated on the airports," says Wyman Morgan, the administration and financial services director for the city of Springdale. "The more he does, the more money that comes back to the airport commission to help maintain the airport."

Adams says a good restaurant is a big draw for pilots looking to land in Northwest Arkansas.

"They can easily choose many different airports in this region, based on the amenities that it has," he says.

But he also wants to see the people of Springdale sitting at his tables.

"There are two doors," he says. "One is for the aviation community, and the other is for the citizens out there in the community. We have been pushing to get those citizens to come in and see what Springdale has to offer."

Commissioners plan to meet with the architect to discuss the scope of the renovations sometime in the next month, and Morgan says the city could have the designs in hand in as little as sixty days.

At Thursday's meeting commissioners also decided to apply for a state grant to replace its approach lights after the system broke down weeks ago.

The lights help pilots find the runway during days with low visibility but the system stopped working and crews couldn't repair it.
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