[ Saline County Regional Airport ]  
Saline County Economic Development Corporation
Saline County Regional Airport

Click to enlargeThe new Saline County Regional Airport has replaced the existing Watts Field and is located on a 1,200 acre site southeast of Bryant, Arkansas. The land for this airport was donated by the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) to the Saline County Airport Commission in August of 2002.

Construction began on the Airport in November 2002 and by the time it opened, nearly 2.2 million cubic yards of earth was moved for its construction. In June 2005, construction of the first of two paving contracts began. When paving was completed, over 122,000 square yards of airfield pavement consisting of 14" of crushed aggregate base course and 4" of asphalt hot mix surface course was constructed using over 27,000 tons of asphalt. Pavement marking, airfield lighting, and utility services to the terminal area were constructed with the paving project.

Nearly 7.5 miles of seven foot tall perimeter fence surrounds the nearly 1,200 acres at a cost of approximately $1.2 million. The relocation of two miles of Entergy transmission line cost approximately $1.5 million. The Hill family donated an eighty foot wide right-of-way, nearly one mile in length, to allow for the construction of Hill Farm Road providing access to the airport from Arkansas Highway 183.

To date, the Saline County Airport Commission has received approximately $13.4 million in grants from the FAA. Another $1 million in state airport aid grants from the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics has been used to construct a portion of the access road, T-hangers and earthwork for future hangar development.

Click to enlargeThe Saline County Regional Airport opened on March 12, 2007. All of the aforementioned work was needed to open the airport. However, continued funding from the FAA following the opening will complete the north and south portion of the parallel taxiway in 2007 and the initial components of the instrument landing system (ILS) will go online in December 2007.

The airport has a 5,002 foot runway, a full parallel taxiway to be completed in the fall of 2007, apron tie-down space for 30 aircraft, two 12-bay T-hangers, a terminal area for a 5,000 square foot terminal building, fueling facilities, space for corporate, private and additional T-hanger development and associated parking. The initial cost of over $16,000,000 will allow the airport to serve everything from small general aviation aircraft to most large corporate jets.

Future planned improvements include a 1,000 foot extension of the runway and taxiway that will result in a 6,000 foot runway length, widening of parallel taxiway, additional apron, corporate and T-hanger development and installation of a glideslope to provide for a full ILS.

Saline County Airport Commission

The Saline County Airport Commission was established by the Quorum Court of Saline County, Ordinance 2002-23, on May 28, 2002 and is composed of seven members. Appointed as the first commissioners are the following individuals serving the listed terms.
  • Mark Westbrook, Chairman, 4 year term
  • Charles Best, Treasurer, 3 year term
  • Gary Hunnicutt, Secretary, 6 year term
  • Danny May, 1 year term
  • Rodney Larsen, 7 year term
  • Doug Curtis, 2 year term
  • Ted Berg, 5 year term

Upon expiration of the respective terms, successor commissioners shall be appointed by the remaining commissioners, subject to the approval of the Saline County Quorum Court, for a term of seven years.

The Saline County Airport Commission has full and complete authority to manage, operate, improve, extend and maintain and/or replace the airport and its related properties and facilities. All revenue derived from the operation of the airport, after paying the operating expenses and maintenance, may be set aside for additional improvements on the airport or for any lawful purpose or improvements on the airport.

Saline County Airport Commission
P. O. Box 1628
Benton, AR 72018
(501) 303-5657
(501) 303-5611 fax