Texarkana Regional Airport seeks grant for second airline

TEXARKANA, Ark. - Texarkana Regional Airport is hoping to boost services by adding a second airline with a direct flight to Houston.

The airport board is trying to get a federal grant for $880,000 to help with startup costs. However, the community needs to come up with $97,000 in matching funds to even be a contender.

Airport administrators say they've gotten a few financial pledges from area businesses, but they only have a couple more weeks left to collect letters of support. The airport currently has one commercial flight destination to Dallas - Fort Worth.

Airport Director Paul Mehrlich said he's spoken to several airlines, and at least one is interested in offering flights to Houston.

Mehrlich didn't disclose which airline, but he said community support is the only way to make this deal happen.

"We're trying to get that all together and show that not only we at the airport want it. But the people of Texarkana and the surrounding area want this flight too," said Mehrlich.

The deadline for the grant application is mid-January.

If the airport is selected, the airport could have two flights a day to Houston by early as next November. The last time the Texarkana airport had a route to Houston was in 2008.

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