- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Latest figures show a decrease in the number of travelers at the largest airport in Arkansas, though the decline isn’t yet reflected in the facility’s bottom line.

A total of 191,050 passengers went through the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport/Adams Field in July, almost a 5 percent decline from the same month in 2014, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/1K5R2tp ) reported. For the year, 7.43 percent fewer passengers have arrived at or departed from the airport.

The numbers presented Tuesday to the Little Rock Municipal Airport Commission left the panel’s chairman, retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark, admitting frustration, since they come a day after Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport announced it was adding daily, nonstop service to San Francisco.

Air service has been a mixed bag at the airport in Little Rock.

Southwest Airlines added an additional flight to Dallas on Aug. 9 that will be available through Nov. 1, said the airport’s air service development director, T.J. Williams. New service by the airline to St. Louis begins in January.

Allegiance Air concluded its seasonal direct flight between Little Rock and Los Angeles earlier this month. A U.S. Airways flight is scheduled to end Nov. 18.

“It feels like we’ve got a ‘going out of business’ trend at this airport,” Clark said. “The airlines are not serving this community the way it should be served.”

Clark and other commission members pressed the airport staff on the disconnect, but Ron Mathieu, the airport’s executive director, said air service availability at Clinton National and other airports “comes down to the issue of demand.”

Still, the airport continues to have a healthy income. Total net income for the year so far was $5,998,494, or 2 percent higher than the $5,883,054 the airport collected in the first seven months of 2014.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com


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