Nick Popham KATV
FAA gives $4.9 million grant to Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport
October 4, 2017
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  • Bill and Hillary Clinton national airport is receiving a multimillion dollar grant to improve the safety of one of its runways.

    It’s a project worth a little over five million dollars.

    But the FAA is helping in a big way to ensure the safety of those landing in little rock.

    No one would think this square section that looks like three steps, could stop this right in its tracks.

    “It’s amazing that you have this area of crushable concrete that can stop a plane, should it run into it and stop it very quickly,” said Shane Carter, a spokesperson with Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.

    The west runway at bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport, doesn’t have an emergency portion of its runway that’s at least a thousand feet long.

    “You have Roosevelt Road,” Carter said, “our service road and you have train tracks that are nearby.”

    So they have this engineered materials arresting system or EMAS.

    It’s a system comprised of collapsible concrete, that can act as sort of a quicksand, to bury the wheels of a plane overrunning the runway.

    “If you have a heavy aircraft that pushes across it, that aircraft will just stop, the wheels will bury up and that plane will stop,” Carter said.

    But this EMAS was put in back in 2003, with an expected life span of about 10 years.

    So the FAA awarded the airport a grant of $4.9 million, that will cover about 90 percent of the funds toward putting in a brand new EMAS.

    “We’re continuously looking at how we can not only improve, but make sure that this area is just as safe as possible,” said Carter.

    Now the remaining 10 percent will come from local funds.

    Construction on the new EMAS is expected to begin sometime in April.

    That project is expected to last about 30 to 45 days.