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Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport Sets Passenger Record

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KFSM) – The Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport announced that it set a record with 640,537 passengers in 2014. Passenger-figures rose...

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KFSM) - The Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport announced that it set a record with 640,537 passengers in 2014. Passenger-figures rose by 10.15 percent last year.

"The airlines have started bringing in larger planes," said Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport Executive Director Scott Van Laningham. "We've got more seats, more capacity and they're filling them up."

Van Laningham said that several factors resulted in the increase, including the upsurge in the economy.

"We've all seen the increase in economic activity," he said. "The buildings and the construction starting has been significant."

The executive director said an increase in passengers means more revenue and it attracts additional air-carriers.

"It makes it easier for us to make that pitch to a new airline and say 'look at the new numbers, look at the growth numbers, you can play a role and there's a market here for your airline'," he said.

The cost of airfares has also dropped out of XNA. According to DOT statics, fares have gone down by 4.5 percent.

"I know that they had a banner year this year with flights in and out and I think it's going to continue to grow," said Jeff Jarvis, a frequent flyer at XNA.

The previous passenger record was set in 2007 with 598,886 passengers.