First steps begin for regional airport in Northeast Arkansas

Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 6:29 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - There could soon be a new way to get in the sky coming to Northeast Arkansas.

The Arkansas Division of Aeronautics is testing if the area meets the qualifications for a regional airport and where might it go.

State Representative Jack Ladyman has been a major player in pushing for an airport. He explained everyone has talked about it, but the airport may become a reality soon.

“I believe that we have the need for a regional airport right now in Northeast Arkansas, but me believing that doesn’t really sell a lot of cars,” he said.

Ladyman helped get the ball rolling in Northwest Arkansas, saying a big factor when it comes to whether or not an area qualifies is business.

“We don’t have as large corporate offices here as they do in Northwest Arkansas, but we’ve got U.S. Steel coming in, Hytrol is here, we’ve got companies that have their headquarters here that would be utilizing an airport if we can get it,” he said.

There will be two regional meetings scheduled for the airport study. The first meeting will be held Monday, March 20 in Pocahontas, and the second meeting will be in Wynne on Thursday, April 6.

“If we get the facts and we say, ‘Hey. There are enough businesses here to have a regional airport,” then we can start the process,” Ladyman said, referring to whether to build the airport from scratch or upgrade a current one.

The decision will be up to the mayor’s caucus, which Ladyman expects to be a head debate with multiple towns fighting for the title.

You can find a full breakdown of the project on the Arkansas Division of Aeronautics’ website.