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Texarkana airport expanding thanks to federal grant

(WLBT)
Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 2:59 PM CDT
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TEXARKANA, Ark. (KSLA) - Years of work by leaders of the Texarkana Regional Airport is beginning to pay off, and officials say the traveling public should reap the benefits with newly available destinations.

American is the only airline flying in and out of Texarkana, with flights only to Dallas, Texas. However, that is set to change soon. The Texarkana Regional Airport Authority has signed an agreement with United Airlines for a daily flight between Texarkana and Houston.

“This is a one year contract that will start on Feb. 13 of 2022,” said Paul Merlich, airport director.

Merlich said the new service is possible thanks to a nearly $900,000 federal grant the air port was rewarded this past summer. The grant guarantees United the revenue to stay in the air for the first year, even if the 50-passenger jet boarding is low.

“So over the course of the year we are looking to increase the number of people flying from our airport to 10,000 people,” he said.

There will be one flight a day leaving Texarkana at 6 a.m. and returning from Houston at 7 p.m.

“That means a person could potentially fly down to Houston in the morning, work an 8 hour day and fly home and be home in time for dinner,” Mehlrich said.

Officials here say with the construction of a new terminal building, and United Airlines coming to the area, the future of Texarkana Regional Airport is flying high.

“So with the new terminal coming, the airline’s coming back, this is kind of the starting of a rebirth of our airport and we hope that will ripple out to the entire community,” he said.

Mehrlich says bookings for the new flights should begin sometime next month.

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