Major work to two runways at Little Rock’s Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport is about to begin, with airport officials hoping to minimize the impact on travelers.
The airport’s general aviation runway, known as Runway 18/36, is to close by the middle of August and not reopen until February, says airport spokesman Shane Carter. That will shift arriving and departing planes to one of two commercial runways.
"We’re doing just over a $20 million project: asphalt on two major taxiways and portions of four others are being replaced with concrete in order to accommodate heavier aircraft," Carter says.
Then in a few weeks, he says the airport’s far east runway will be closed for a $2 million project to install new in-pavement lighting.
Meanwhile several projects are also being done inside the terminal. Carter says one involves replacing hundreds of seats for passengers to reflect modern demands.
"The seats that are currently in use in the concourse have been here since the airport opened back in the early ‘70s and our new seats are going to have power and USB at every seat so that our customers can charge their phones and their other devices before their flights."
Carter says a new digital antenna system is being installed which will boost cell phone signals throughout the airport. Five new jet bridges and additional bathrooms are also being constructed.
"These next several projects, whether it be out on the airfield or inside the building, we have put a lot of thought into making sure these are done and scheduled so that the impact to customers are very minimal," Carter says.