This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.
Due to a current and projected decline in the revenues stemming from the Covid-19 crisis, a $3.6 million expansion project at Arkansas’ North Little Rock Municipal Airport (ORK) has been put on indefinite hold. According to airport manager Clay Rogers, the project, which had already been pared back from $5.5 million over the past year, is still intended to include a new 4,500-sq-ft general aviation center that will house the North Little Rock Jet Center, one of two FBOs on the field that caters to business jet traffic. Rogers told AIN that the airport has approximately 15 based business jets and turboprops currently and, as a reliever to Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport, it would like to further develop this business.
With a waiting list of business aircraft operators looking for hangar space, the now-delayed project also included the construction of a new 15,000-sq-ft community hangar capable of sheltering midsize business jets, along with ramp connections to the taxiway system, and a vehicle parking lot.
Rogers said the state Department of Aeronautics, citing an anticipated plunge in fuel sales revenue in the second quarter and possibly beyond, opted to withhold its portion of the funding and instead concentrate its support on essential runway and taxiway safety improvements during this time. Rogers still hopes the project at ORK will launch later this year.