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In 1996, Clinton National Airport launched a comprehensive Air Service Development Program to seek expanded service from existing airlines and to bring new carriers to the airport. The program has been very successful in bringing new non-stop jet service to a number of destinations.
While Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport has a superior level of air service, the Air Service Development Program was put in place because it is not prudent to rest on your laurels. In addition, air service is truly a "use it or lose it" proposition. For that reason, the air service you have can quickly become the air service you had.
As private businesses, airlines must make money by serving an airport, or they won't offer the service. Part of the Air Service Development Program at Clinton National Airport is to help our airline partners market their product to ensure that it is successful.
In addition, the airport is in constant touch with existing carriers and potential new carriers to sell Little Rock and Arkansas to them. The contacts range from letters and phone calls to face-to-face meetings at airline corporate headquarters.
We communicate a number of messages to airlines, including news of new economic development in our city and state which will make this airport more attractive to current and prospective carriers.
Bringing new service to this or any other airport is much like attracting business and industry to an area. It takes a lot of hard work and persistence and it doesn't happen overnight. Often, an airline will study a request for new service for years before actually committing the resources to launch new flights. This is particularly true of bringing a new airline to the airport.
We have a strong market to offer, but Clinton National Airport also realizes that the airport must maintain a business friendly environment in order for our airline partners to be successful, including such policies as not charging a parking fee for aircraft which remain here overnight and leave the next day. This has resulted in Clinton National Airport having a very substantial bank of early morning flights as a result of previous night arrivals, and that's good for our customers.
Most of the major airlines serve Little Rock, offering thousands of seats daily to a substantial number of destinations. The level of air service at Clinton National Airport has drawn the attention of nationally recognized aviation industry experts. For example, Darryl Jenkins, director of the aviation institute at George Washington University, said that, for its size, Little Rock may well have the best air service in the nation!
The development of air service is a challenging task, particularly in today's very competitive, unregulated atmosphere, but we are pleased to accept the challenge in order to serve you.