The Federal Aviation Administration is investing $3.7 million to upgrade a long-range radar facility outside of Russellville used for civilian aviation and defense purposes.
The facility is one of many commonly established in the early 1950s to provide air traffic controllers and defense agencies aircraft positioning information in an area spanning more than 200 nautical miles.
An FAA spokeswoman said by email that the investment is needed to meet current operational and environmental needs, namely to reduce the administration’s operating costs and to provide pilots with a more reliable system, with a lower chance of failure.
The money comes as part of $5 billion allocated to the FAA for air traffic control upgrades as part of the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Money from that legislation is also paying for significant upgrades at Arkansas’ three commercial and 20 more public-use airports.