TEXARKANA, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Texarkana Regional Airport is set to receive over a million dollars this Tuesday, as a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, also known as CARES.
The federal government plans to give the airport $1.1 million. “Next year and moving forward, we’ll continue to use these funds to protect payroll,” Texarkana Regional Airport Director Paul Mehrlich said. The airport laid off four employees earlier this year as a result of lost revenue caused by the pandemic. Mehrlich said the stimulus money will allow them to fill an open firefighter position, and possibly hire two people for maintenance jobs.
The CARES Act money will free up other funds to be used in the capitol improvement budget, according to Mehrlich. As a result, the new terminal should open a year ahead of schedule, in 2023. The new schedule could also shave up to $2 million off the project’s cost.
Also as a result of the government stimulus package, Mehrlich said the cities of Texarkana, Ark. and Texarkana, Texas will save $195,000 collectively. “The FAA, as part of the CARES act, is going to be covering the city’s matching funds for the grants that we have for this year,” he said.
The states of Arkansas and Texas will save money, as well. Arkansas is set to save $500,000 and Texas should save $50,000 in project funding.
As for flights at Texarkana Regional Airport, Mehrlich said there are still about 14 American Airlines flights per week at the facility. The airline cut flights as a result of the pandemic. Mehrlich said the federal government will allow American Airlines to cut that down to a minimum of three flights a week in Texarkana, but there are no indications of further cuts currently.