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HIGHFILL -- The Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport board met Wednesday and approved buying a high-tech guidance system for its new parking deck and paving more of the economy lot.

The electronic guidance system will cost $494,378 and will tell motorists where parking spots are available on the top three floors of the deck. It includes lights that drivers can see from a distance that indicate if the space is open or filled.

"We think this will be a really nice addition for our passengers," said Kelly Johnson, airport director.

Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport/Adams Field in Little Rock installed a similar system in its parking deck in 2015. The system, which cost $495,000, uses sensors connected to electronic signs to direct drivers to open spaces on the top two floors of the three-story lot.

The four-level deck at Northwest Arkansas Regional will add 1,400 spaces and is expected to open later this year. The cost is estimated at $30 million.

The bottom floor of the deck will initially house rental-car operations. Another parking garage is expected to be built in the next few years to provide rental companies a permanent home. The guidance system can then be added to the first floor.

The board also voted Wednesday to pay Tomlinson Asphalt $472,185 for paving and related preparation work on the southwest corner of the economy lot.

The board tabled consideration of recommendations for three limousine/shuttle operators to provide service in the lobby of the terminal. The move came after representatives from one of the companies not chosen, NWA Taxi, raised questions about whether a company that had made the cut, JCB Executive Car Service, has insurance coverage.

Staff members said they will go back and review all five companies that made proposals and return to the board with new recommendations.

"We will be re-evaluating our process in terms of addressing the due diligence before it gets to this point in the process going forward, I can assure you," said Scott Van Laningham, executive director of the regional airport.

The other three companies that submitted proposals are Pinnacle Car Services, Jim's Express Shuttle and Ambassador Transportation Service.

Information for this article was contributed by Noel Oman of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Metro on 02/15/2018

Print Headline: Airport OK'd to buy parking system

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