First Inaugurated Commercial Airline Service in 1931
Historical highlights of the Texarkana Regional Airport from 1928-Present.
The City of Texarkana, Arkansas purchased 190 acres east of Highway 67 from Mr. and Mrs. B.H. Lathrop and Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Wheeler to establish an airport. The site was selected because of the large area of level ground with few trees or stumps. Mr. John Newbauer served as the first Airport Manager.
The new airport opened with two sod runways—one 3,500 feet long and the other 3,000 feet long.
American Airways inaugurated commercial airline service transporting passengers and mail flying a Ford Tri-Motor aircraft on June 15th. Several thousand citizens withstood midday heat to hear Senator Morris Shepherd talk on the importance of air transportation.
American Airways discontinued service. Howard Webb leased the former American Airways Building from the City and established an agreement to oversee the Airport activities. Mr. Webb purchased a hangar in New Orleans, Louisiana and moved it to Texarkana Municipal Airport to construct the Airport’s first aircraft hangar. Howard Webb’s oversight of the airport lasted until 1969.
The airport’s first terminal Building was constructed as a WPA Project. This building still stands today serving as the Airport Administration Building.
The runways are paved and lighted.
American Airlines began service in new 40-passenger Convair aircraft; one aircraft was labeled “Flagship Texarkana.”
The U.S. Air Force’s 703rd Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron began air defense operations on a 30-acre site adjacent to the airport with a 30-person contingent.
The ownership and operational management of Texarkana Municipal Airport was transferred to “The Texarkana Airport Authority” on December 27th by City Ordinances of Texarkana, Arkansas and Texarkana Texas and by Arkansas State Statute.
The airport constructed a new passenger terminal building.
The FAA Air Traffic Control Tower was constructed and staffed with controllers 24-hours a day. Mr. Howard Webb retired after nearly 40 years of airport management and aviation business at Texarkana Municipal Airport.
The U.S. Air Force used the airport to transport cargo from Lone Star Ammunition Plant using Lockheed C-141 Starlifter aircraft. The FAA funded and installed a Category I Instrument Landing System (ILS) and Medium Intensity Approach Lighting System with Runway End Identifier Lights (MALSR) on Runway 22.
Globe Union Battery Case Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was the first company to locate in the Airport Industrial Park in a three million dollar 70,000 square foot facility on a 10 acre site.
The first Crash/Fire/Rescue vehicle was obtained allowing the airport to meet Civil Aeronautics Board airline emergency rescue requirements. The vehicle was manned by Texarkana, Arkansas Fire Department personnel.
The Passenger Terminal was expanded and improved.
The airport’s rotating beacon was relocated from the Terminal Building parking area to its present location on the North side of the airfield.
Mr. Truman Arnold constructed the Road Runner Corporate Aviation Hangar on the airport.
The airport Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Facility was constructed using FAA Grant Funding.
American Eagle/Metro Express II Airlines began service from Texarkana to Dallas-Fort Worth with four daily flights using 19-seat Jetstream 31 aircraft.
Truman Arnold took over the fixed base operations and constructed two large aircraft hangars and a 12,600 square foot General Aviation Terminal. The Airport Authority voted to change the Airport’s name from “Texarkana Municipal Airport – Web Field” to “Texarkana Regional Airport”.
The U.S. Department of Transportation designated the airport as a “Primary Airport” enabling the airport to receive passenger enplanement funds annually from the FAA.
The U.S. Government deeded over the radome facility, the final piece of property used by the 703rd Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron. The airport completed an overlay project that included all taxiways and most of the aircraft parking areas.
The airport completed a terminal expansion project which added a second passenger boarding gate, handicapped accessible rest rooms, and a new baggage carousel. The FAA Air Traffic Control tower was renovated.
The airport was completely enclosed by security fencing. The runway lighting system was improved with a new Medium Intensity Approach Lighting System with Runway End Identifier Lights.
Runway 4/22 received a complete resurfacing as a result of an Airport Improvement Program grant.
LifeNet moved their emergency response helicopter, aircrew, and 24-hour Operations Center to the airport.
Mr Stephen Luebbert took over as the airport director and is currently serving in that position.
Construction began on the $1.6M Texarkana Airframe and Powerplant School.
Runway 13/31 rehabilitation was completed and the new PAPI serving runway 13 was commissioned.
New Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting facility construction began on the new South Side development area of the airport.
A new passenger terminal is in the planning stages and construction should start around 2014. It will be co-located near the new Airport Public Safety Buidling on the South Side which became operational in May 2011.
Future Terminal along with current Airport Fire and Rescue/Safety Building