Conway Opens New Airport With Safety Improvements

- CONWAY, AR- More than a dozen airplanes touched down at the new Conway Airport, which officially opened on Labor Day.

Pilot Steve McNabb was the fifth one to land on the longer and safer runway off Lollie Road.

"I felt like I was making my very first landing," says Steve McNabb.

McNabb excited about the new airport, which now sits on 431 acres of land. The old airport is still occupying 150 acres off 6th street next to neighborhoods and businesses. He says the hangars are much improved.

"The airplane will be protected from the weather and won't have to worry about every time a storm comes up and of my airplane will get damaged again," he says.

The $30 million dollar project was a long time coming for many people in the community

"Any airport in any community creates a net economic positive for the community," says Josh Zylks, Conway Airport Manager.

Josh Zylks says business owners, flight schools and companies will primarily use the airport. All this foot traffic will hopefully fuel the Conway economy.

"All of the business that is generated by the people who come in to town, people leaving town, doing business and bringing their tax dollars back, all of those just add up," says Zylks.

"You don't have to worry about the tree, on approach to Conway there's a big oak tree that's sitting right on line with the runway," says McNabb.

For resident, they don't want to worry about another deadly crash. The latest in 2012, where one pilot died due to engine failure. In 2007, a pilot was killed after authorities say he overshot the runway and crashed into a home. The crash killed a woman inside the home.

"I'm happy that it's opening over there you know safety issues that last plane crash almost landed in our house. A few more seconds and it would've been there," says Deanna McGinty, resident.

So after nearly five years of construction and planning, the official openings couldn't come any sooner for the Conway community.

City Officials will hold a grand opening Friday September 5th at 1:30pm.

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