Opened for commercial passenger business on November 1, 1998, the geographic terrain where the airport is located provides tremendous facilities for regional and larger jet aircraft to operate. Only one of two Airport Authorities in the state of Arkansas, the Board of Directors’ sole purpose is to build, operate and maintain the facility, including runways, structures, roadways, staff and finances required to operate a modern aviation facility. The airport’s staff strives to keep pace with the growing demands of NW Arkansas’ thriving economy and passenger traffic. This is done by initiatives to provide increased passenger destinations and expanded customer service – what the citizens and visitors to NW Arkansas have come to expect and deserve. NW Arkansas’ dynamic economy, coupled with our air carrier partners’ response to demand, combined to make the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport the most eXciting New Airport in the country.
Our mission is to ensure that the safest and most modern aviation infrastructure is in place to satisfy the needs of the traveling public. Environmentally conscious travel and development will be used to protect the natural splendor of the region while providing reliable, cost-effective and convenient transportation for the public we serve.
The Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport Authority operates the airport. NWARAA is comprised of five cities and two counties. The cities, Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers, Siloam Springs and Springdale, each appoint two members to the Board of Directors, as do Benton and Washington Counties. The Board of Directors’ mission is to build, operate and maintain the runways, structures, roadways, staff and finances required to operate a modern aviation facility. As Northwest Arkansas grows, so grows the airport. The key: Don’t build more facilities than you need and can afford. Prudent financial management with an eye toward the future are essential components in assuring facilities are in place at the right time.
- December, 1997
- Total project cost: $107 million; down from original Master Plan estimates of $144 million.
- Construction began August, 1995, scheduled completion late 1998.
- One runway, 8,800 feet long and 150 feet wide; one taxiway, 8,800 feet long, 75 feet wide.
- Airport Authority was formed in November 1990 by the governments of Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers, Siloam Springs, Springdale, Benton County and Washington County.
- Received first planning grant from the Federal Aviation Administration on January 30, 1990.
- Completed Environmental Impact Statement in July 1994; FAA issued favorable Record of Decision on August 16, 1994.
- First federal grant ($9 million) for land acquisition announced September 27, 1994.
- Cloud-Breaking, August 10, 1995.
- 2,185 acres, 59 parcels purchased. 55 families relocated.
- Cleared 500 acres of structures and trees.
- Relocated 13,600 feet of high-pressure natural gas line.
- Relocated high-voltage electric line.
- Installed 26,000 feet of perimeter fence.
- Closed 57 water wells.
- Closed four miles of country roads.
- Built nine sedimentation basins for compliance with environmental regulations.
- Completed construction of 600,000 gallon water storage tank.
- Moved 3 million cubic yards of dirt. (That’s 220,000 dump truck loads.) $9.7 million airside (runway, taxiway, aircraft apron) mass grading contract with Gilbert Central of Omaha, Neb., is completed. Added $1.6 million for landside (access road, parking) dirt work to the contract in November 1996.
- Installed more than 29,000 feet of drainage structures (airside and landside).
- Built 5.4 miles of airfield perimeter road.
- Airside paving and lighting contract ($22.5 million) awarded to Interstate Highway Construction of Englewood, Colorado in March 1997. Runway construction scheduled for completion in 240 days (end of 1997), and entire paving and lighting work to be completed in 400 days.
- Purchased 44,000 tons of cement.
- Airside (runway, taxiway, aircraft parking aprons) paving totals 4,577,990 square feet. That’s equal to 36 miles of two-lane (24 feet wide) highway.
- Construction of the terminal building began in mid-September of 1997 and was completed in November of 1998.