story by Marla Cantrell
Smoking was one of the major topics of discussion at the March 23 meeting of the Fort Smith Airport Commission, once it finally got underway.
The meeting was delayed by 20 minutes, due to the lack of a quorum. That was remedied when Commissioner Jan Nordin arrived.
John Parker, airport director, presented a plan that would ban smoking within 25 feet of any exterior terminal doorway. The commissioners approved the resolution.
Parker said smokers tend to gather just outside the exterior doors, which exposes travelers to secondhand smoke and blocks the entrances. The Arkansas Clean Indoor Air Act of 2006, which stopped smoking inside the terminal, did not specify parameters on the exterior. Signs will be installed notifying smokers of the new guideline.
Dave Coleman and and Joel Haaser, with BKD CPAs and Advisors, presented the results of 2009 audit. Enplanements were 78,432, down 10% from the 2008 total of 87,030. Aircraft operations, including charter, general, and military dropped from 57,854 to 43,818, or 24% last year.
There were no significant problems in the audit. Coleman said he did note some overlapping of duties in the airport’s two-person accounting staff, something he said is common among smaller operations.
In other business, Parker said the airport is working with engineers to qualify for a pavement grant from the State Department of Aeronautics. It’s the first time the 90-10 grant has been offered and has a cap of $500,000 in state funding.
He has also applied for FAA entitlement funds, which would give the airport a 95% refund for the $112,000 snow plow purchased last year, pay for the design of a taxiway realignment project and cover the $306,000 change order for an LED runway lighting project.
The commission’s next meeting will be held on April 27.