The Texarkana Regional Airport Authority received an $884,722 grant to support new air service. Funding will be used for a revenue guarantee, marketing, start-up cost offsets and fee waivers for service to Houston Texas’ George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) on United Airlines.
The grant does not guarantee a new flight will start. The airport will still need to negotiate a contract agreement with United Airlines. United Airlines provided a letter of support for the grant, with the intention to flight twice daily on a Bombardier Canadair Regional Jet-200 aircraft, flown by the United Express partner SkyWest Airlines. It will be a little while before any flights would start. The aviation industry is still impacted from the effects of COVID-19, and are experiencing pilot shortages. However, United Airlines will have up to five years to utilize the grant funds. This allows some time for the industry to stabilize and the airport to continue work on the new terminal. The airport will begin working with the airline over the next few weeks about next steps.
“Houston, TX is a top destination for travelers within our market, so we are thrilled that this new nonstop service will provide more travel options to take our passengers where they want to go. We hope this will also help companies based in Houston to see Texarkana as a place to expand!” said Paul Mehrlich, Executive Director for the Texarkana Regional Airport Authority. A daily flight to IAH will connect Texarkana to 135 destinations with a single stop, including 6 domestic routes and 13 international routes not previously served. “Texarkana Regional Airport will continue working to provide our community with new destinations, both with already-existing air service and new partners,” Mehrlick added.
The grant is from the Department of Transportation’s Small Community Air Service Development Program. This program was created in order to assist small communities with attracting new air service. The Department of Transportation provided approximately $18 million in federal grants, there were 78 applicants and the Department of Transportation chose 22 recipients from 22 different states.
The Texarkana Regional Airport, worked with several community partners to establish public-private support for the grant application. Partners included Domtar, Abernathy Company, Ledwell, Red River Army Depot, St. Michael, TexAmerica, Texarkana College, Texas A&M, AR-TX REDI Group, Farmer’s Bank, and the cities of Texarkana TX and AR.
“We are extremely pleased to have been selected for this grant. Not only will it be great for Texarkana to have a new air carrier in our market, but it will reconnect our community directly to Houston,” Mehrlich said.
For more information about Texarkana Regional Airport, please visit www.txkairport.com or Like Us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/txkairport. For more information about United Airlines, please visit www.united.com.