Arkansas International Airport (BYH) is located approximately three miles northwest of Blytheville in Arkansas just south of the Missouri border. It is owned by the Blytheville Gosnell Regional Airport Authority.
The airport was developed from the closed Eaker Air Force Base (formerly Blytheville Air Force Base), after its closure by the U.S. Air Force in 1992. Because it was an Air Force base, the airport has room and facilities that are not available in many other complexes. Some of these extra functions include five million square feet of ramp space and six full size hangars.
It has one runway designated 18/36 with a concrete surface measuring 11,602 by 300 feet.
The airport accommodates deployment and pick-up of National Guard troops, as well as training grounds for military flight training maneuvers, primarily USAF C-130 training operations from Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas Air National Guard A-10 training operations from Fort Smith Air National Guard Station and Arkansas Army National Guard helicopter training operations from Camp Robinson.
In 2008, Aviation Repair Technologies (ART) established its Blytheville facility and opened repair services for aircraft heavy maintenance, short-term aircraft storage, and aircraft disassembly. Facilities include five large heavy aircraft maintenance hangars for airframe services. ART also offers over 100,000 sq. ft. of secure warehouse space for component logistics services.
The company supports major operators around the world from its state-of-the-art maintenance complex located at Blytheville, and its corporate and sales office located in Miami, Florida.
ART is a leading FAA and EASA-certified repair station specialized in MRO, component sales, logistics, and disassembly services for the most popular commercial and regional aircraft operating today.
Airliners in storage at the Arkansas International Airport in Blytheville (Courtesy of Aviation Repair Technologies)
ART accepted 77 idled aircraft for storage during the COVID-19 outbreak, according to operations vice president Anthony Saumell. The company had space for an additional 30 airliners if needed.
Delta Air Lines Airbus A350 jetliners in temporary storage at the Arkansas International Airport
Delta Air Lines MD-series jets in storage at the Arkansas International Airport in Blytheville
A Delta Air Lines MD-series airliner heads for retirement in June of 2020 (photo courtesy of Delta)
On Tuesday, June 2, 2020, Delta Air Lines retired from service its MD-88 and MD-90 fleets, and flew them to Blytheville for storage and ultimate parts reclamation.
Both aircraft operated across much of Delta’s domestic network and have been workhorses for the airline for several decades, carrying more than 750 million customers during their operating lifespan.
Aerial view of the airliner boneyard storage facility at the Arkansas International Airport in Blytheville