Severe Safety Risk At Bentonville Airport

Severe Safety Risk At Bentonville Airport

POSTED: 3:46 pm CDT September 27, 2010

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — People are walking across the Bentonville Municipal Airport’s runway, creating a safety hazard, officials said Monday.

The Bentonville Municipal Airport used to be surrounded by brush and a barbed wire fence. But now the fence is down, and it’s leaving the runway exposed for anyone to walk across. Jim Konidis sees it every day on his walk.”Where I come from, I thought all airports need to have a fence around them,” Konidis said.Konidis moved from New York two years ago. And seeing this airport runway so exposed has him worried someone could take advantage of the situation.”Anybody can have access to this airport at any given time and since 9-11.

I think security should be taken,” Konidis said.It’s a concern that Bentonville’s Public Works director Mike Bender said he understands.Bender said since the owner of land adjacent to the airport removed the old barbwire fence, there have been issues with people crossing the airport runway from the salvation army.”That’s a severe safety risk, and people are out on the runway, or runway safety area. It might not seem like it, but these planes can sneak up on you,” Bender said.Bender said they’ve had discussions with the Salvation Army. Since then, the number of those crossing the runway has gone down. He said they’re working to get a new security fence put up. In the meantime, security measures are being taken.”Just keeping an eye out.
We do have cameras up at the airport, and we’re going to try to get up some temporary fencing to provide some kind of boundary,” Bender said.

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