Airport’s future unclear, many possibilities on the table

Updated: Apr. 27, 2020 at 6:15 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The Jonesboro Municipal Airport still allows planes to land and take off from its runways. But officials admit ts future is up in the air.

Decisions on larger facilities, larger planes, and funding to repair the damage caused by the March 28 EF3 tornado remain topics of discussion.

George Jackson, airport manager, said architectural designs and bid work for airplane hangars could take several months alone.

New facilities require many restrictions and planning, which only slows down the process.

“There’s a lot of new codes and things that have to be worked out on the new construction and the bidding,” Jackson said.

After that, money comes into play, with the facility taking a $20 million hit. The tornado destroyed a total of 60 planes, and insurance will only cover half of the damages.

Jackson said that $20 million does not include the planes damaged.

“It’s hard to say whether we can rebuild everything as was in that neighborhood or you know, you’d like to do some modifications and changes so those are all in the planning stages,” he said.

Mayor Harold Perrin has reached out to Sen. John Boozman who is on the appropriations committee for assistance.

Perrin hopes to work with the senator on projects concerning the airport, according to Bill Campbell, the city’s director of communications.

Jackson said he wants to see the airport come back better than ever.

“We are planning on coming back strong," he said. "We’re not dusting our hands off and walking away.”

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