Posted 12/16/2013 12:00 am
First impressions of a city are commonly made at the airport, and expansions at the Fort Smith Regional Airport are not only welcoming visitors to an attractive destination, but also enhancing the travel options of residents of western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma, boosting the local economy.
Additional storage has recently been provided by the construction of 28 new T-hangar units for privately owned aircraft. Capacity on the airfield is increasing with an $8 million project creating an additional nine acres of ramp space by realigning a taxiway. New lights on the airfield include energy-efficient LED lights, reducing operating costs. The two runaways have been reinforced to accommodate large aircraft. The changes not only attracts more traffic, but is also boosting companies like TAC Air, a full-service fixed-base operator at the airport who handles military, general, private and charter aircrafts and supports the needs of corporate aviation.
The FSRA makes an impression inside its 52,000-SF terminal building, doing its part to ease some of the challenges every modern traveler faces. Amenities include shorter lines at the security checkpoints, wingback seating in waiting areas, free wireless Internet access and public restrooms named by Cintas in 2005 as the best public restrooms in the United States.
The airport is the base of the region’s American Airlines and Delta Airlines check-in counters, with flights to Dallas and Atlanta (and the world beyond) respectively every day. Four rental car agencies are housed in the terminal and passenger parking is nearby. The airport even attracts non-flyers as the home of the Fort Smith Air Museum.
The 188th Fighter Wing of the Arkansas Air National Guard is based on airport property. The “Flying Razorbacks” fly A-10 attack aircraft, but their mission is currently transitioning to flying unmanned aerial missions and intelligence operations.
Commercial development is growing outside of the airport, with land along Phoenix Avenue now seeing the addition of a Hilton hotel and numerous other facilities.