The Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport announced a $20.5 million concourse renovation plan Tuesday. The proposal includes a modernized interior, additional gate seating with chargers for portable devices, new jet bridges and new arrival and departure monitors.
According to Ronald Mathieu, Executive Director of the Clinton National Airport, ridership was down five percent last year. He said interior improvements will be good for business.
"What we're talking about is making the concourse in itself look more like the ticket counter and the baggage claim. It is pretty clear to us that we have an opportunity to improve the customer's experience by adding some of those additional bathrooms, the Wi-Fi as we've talked about, [and] upgrading the seating. The seating has been in place nearly since the terminal first opened in the 70's,"said Mathieu.
Former Little Rock mayor Jim Dailey helped craft the proposal. He said the airport had two million visitors last year and its upkeep is important for tourism and business.
"We realize things are changing in the industry and at the same time, we're faced with a situation that says we have to keep doing what we can to enhance the customer experience here at this airport. Hopefully over time we will build and re-build and ultimately hopefully be able to do that hundred million dollar renovation of the entire concourse," said Dailey.
The renovation plan will be presented to the Little Rock Municipal Airport Commission in September. If approved, concourse improvements will begin next summer.