Walnut Ridge Airport awarded nearly $500,000 grant

Walnut Ridge Airport awarded nearly $500,000 grant

WALNUT RIDGE, AR (KAIT) - The Walnut Ridge Regional Airport was awarded a $495,000 check for recent improvements made to the airport.

The check, awarded by the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics, was a reimbursement given to the city of Walnut Ridge for work already completed to the ramps and taxiways at the airport.

Jerry Chism, director of the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics said the grants are given out up to twice a year and the award amounts are typically smaller.

"We have a special paving program at our agency where airports that have pavement only needs could get a bigger grant of up to half a million dollars to address the needs of the pavement and Walnut Ridge took advantage of that," Chism said. "It's a 90/10 grant, where our agency funds 90% and the local community has to put up 10% of the cost."

Chism said opportunities like these are beneficial to local communities because airports serve as a great economic tool.

"It's a very valuable tool for the development of your area," Chism said. "Anything that improves the airport from a safety standard or usability standard benefits the whole community."

Chism said all funding for the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics comes from a sales tax on aviation products such as fuel and airplanes and the taxes are used toward the grant program to help improve airports across the state.

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