|Updated: 10/06/2008 8:34 am
||Published: 9/24/2008 5:26 pm
More than a decade after the city of Little Rock loaned $3 million to Little Rock National Airport, the debt is being repaid. And the city plans to pour the money back in and around the airport to help bring more aviation jobs to central Arkansas.
Whether it's commercial airliners or smaller business jets, central Arkansas stakes big bucks in the aviation business.
"This is all tied in to their commitment to bring jobs to the state, jobs to the city at a wage that is very competitive," Little Rock mayor Mark Stodola says.
The airport is repaying a $3 million loan to the city. The loan was provided to the airport in 1991 allowing them to make expansion at Raytheon, now Hawker-Beechcraft. In return, the city is spending it on and around the airport. Specifically Dassault Falcon. The jet builder is a major aviation player with 2400 Little Rock employees.
The city wants to make it easier for Dassault-Falcon employees to get to work. Right now the routes from 6th and 9th streets in east Little Rock are not striped, are limited to two lanes and needs to be expanded.
Stodola tells FOX16 News that officials with Dassault Falcon plan to expand and start building a new business jet called the SMS.
"We are doing everything we can to try and convince them to build that here," Stodola says.
Stodola hopes the city buying more land will make it happen and help attract new aviation companies to locate here.
The plan to improve the roadway into Dassault Falcon is part of a larger $4.7 million project to add business space to the area around Little Rock National Airport.