Residential development around XNA could cause challenges for expansion, leaders say

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HIGHFILL, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Northwest Arkansas National Airport (XNA) Board of Directors are concerned about new development popping up around the airport.

Alex English, public relations specialist with XNA, said the airport continues to see more travelers and airport leaders are working to plan ahead to keep up with increased demand.

“Looking ahead and making sure that we keep up with that growth and we make sure that we can handle our passenger volume,” English said.

The board of directors is considering adding a second runway to XNA as a way to expand the airport’s operations. In order to do that, airport officials are working now on how they could expand the airport’s land to accommodate another runway. However, English said a second runway won’t be constructed for another 20 years or so.

“We definitely need the adequate amount of land to build that runway on,” English said.

As the airport grows, so does surrounding areas and cities. English said new residential development planned for areas close by XNA could lead to challenges for property owners and the airport.

“It’s been around eight or so properties that have been developed or sold for residential use around the airport, as of the past year or so, that encroaches on our ability to build that second runway eventually,” English said.

Board member, Mervin Jebaraj, said having homes close to the airport could cause multiple problems including noise complaints.

Thee board of directors at a meeting Wednesday discussed the need to work together with local cities and planning commissions when it comes to new development in the area.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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