Delta Airlines will add a round trip flight from Fort Smith to Atlanta, Ga., starting June 7, 2012, according to Airport Commissioners, who made the announcement on Tuesday (March 27) at the group’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting.
The new flight will be part of Delta’s current three-flight rotation, said Fort Smith Regional Airport Executive Director John Parker, who noted that “instead of three daily Memphis flights, they (Delta) will go to two Memphis flights and then the one to Atlanta.”
“We’re (Airport) very fortunate to have this opportunity. Delta made this as a business decision, nothing more, and it’s just a positive they’ve come to us with that market,” Parker said.
The Airport Commission also approved a new five-year lease with the carrier, whose current agreement is set to expire on April 30, 2012. Rates would remain the same as the prior agreement, Parker noted, and would remain in effect through the end of 2017.
A direct flight to Delta’s main hub in Atlanta could help secure recent enplanement increases at the Fort Smith airport.
February enplanements at the Fort Smith Regional Airport totaled 6,423, up 20.8% compared to February 2011. For the first two months of 2012, Fort Smith enplanements are 13.006, up 11.65% compared to the 2011 period. Traffic at Fort Smith was driven by an 11.75% increase in enplanements with Delta Airlines, and an 11.59% boost with American.
In other leasing news, the Airport Commission also agreed to a new 10-year lease with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
For the first five years of the agreement, TSA will pay $43,612.58 annually, an increase compared to the $42,330.60 it is paying now. The second five years of the agreement will increase to $45,842.94 per year. The lease term will run from April 1, 2012, to March 31, 2022.
Through the end of September 2012, TSA has reduced the amount it reimburses the Airport for Law Enforcement Officers (LEO) from $156,122 to $137,748. The hourly reduction to LEOs for the year will fall from $26.70 per hour to $23.63 per hour, an amount that includes salary and benefits.
Finally, the Airport accepted the bid of Alma Tractor and Equipment for the provision of two 15-foot Flex Wing Rotary Cutters. The budgeted amount for this line item was $31,000. Alma Tractor and Equipment won with a final bid of $28,344.37.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Fort Smith Regional Airport Commission will take place April 24.