Two Largest Airports in Arkansas Seek State Funding

Officials at the state's two largest airports, the Little Rock Airport and Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport in Highfill, say they'll soon be asking for state money, The Associated Press reports.

They plan to ask the Legislature in January for help in funding capital improvements, saying they've identified three potential sources for the money: the expected $721 million surplus in the General Improvement Fund, a share in existing taxes on jet fuel, parking revenue and car rental revenue, or creation of a new 1 percent sales tax on airport fuel, concessions, car rental and general aviation services.

The Little Rock Airport had 2.5 million passengers in 2005, while the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport had 1.1 million, according to The Associated Press.

The airports now operate on general revenue, federal aid and airline subsidies. The Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport is considering a number of projects, including a $20 million second concourse, a second runway and a parking deck.

The Little Rock Airport also has many capital projects under consideration, including the replacement or renovation of its existing terminal.

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