Little Rock Airport Trying to Develop International Routes

OCTOBER 2, 2006 - Posted at 7:57 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Officials at Little Rock National Airport are working to develop flights to Mexico.  Adding international travel will require a facility that meets customs and security requirements.

Executive Director Deborah Schwartz said advances in trade with Mexico and the state's fast-growing Hispanic population are reason enough to try to expand the airport's reach to Mexico.

The Little Rock Airport Commission has approved spending $5 million to study whether the passenger terminal at the airport should be replaced or renovated.  Part of the study will explore how the airport could handle international flights.

Mexico-based airline, Mexicana, started talking more than a year ago about establishing regular service between Little Rock and Guadalajara, the second-largest city in Mexico.

Airport commission member Jimmy Moses says he thinks Little Rock will have international flights in three to five years.

Officials say Frontier Airlines may also try to reach foreign destinations from Little Rock.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)