Arkansas Economic Development Commission


In the Middle of the Action

In business, location isn't a place. It's every place. By way of soaring, floating or rolling, Arkansas is the launching pad to every city, remote outpost, port of call, hot spot and demographic imaginable. Planting your feet in Arkansas immediately puts you ahead of the race, giving you easy access to over 100 million customers without breaking a sweat.

Bentley Story

Director, Business Development
(501) 682-7394
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Midway Between Mexico City and Montreal

Arkansas offers access to a market of 100 million people within a 550-mile radius of the state. That represents more than 40% of the total U.S. population. 

Air Service

Arkansas's airports are conveniently located minutes from our major downtowns. The Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport (LIT), Arkansas's largest commercial service airport, serves approximately 2.2 million passengers annually. With more than 116 departures at Little Rock each day, 334 unique destinations around the world with only one stop from LIT, and non-stop jet service to 14 national/international gateway cities, Little Rock is truly one stop away from the world.  

In addition to commercial aircraft, Clinton National serves general aviation/private aircraft with two fixed base operators (FBOs) on the field: Central Flying Service and Supermarine. With 21 hangars on 77 acres, Central is the nation's largest fixed base operation and offers a huge paint and interior refurbishing shop, non-destructive testing and sheet metal fabrication. 

The Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA), which opened in 1998, is the state's second largest travel hub, serving non-stop flights to several national and international airports. Regional airports in El Dorado, Fort Smith, Harrison, Northwest Arkansas, Hot Springs, Jonesboro and Texarkana also provide commercial service to several national airports. These airports provide both day and night services, and most have instrument approach capability. 

The Arkansas Aeroplex at Blytheville, formerly Eaker Air Force Base, is the state's second largest industrial complex and one of the largest commercial airstrips in the central United States. Situated in a campus-like setting, the facility offers fiber-optic technology, 1.5 million square feet of available facilities and space for new construction. 

Direct Flight Destinations
Destination City Airports
Atlanta Fort Smith, LIT, XNA
Baltimore LIT
Charlotte, NC LIT, XNA
Chicago LIT, XNA
Cincinnati XNA
Dallas Fort Smith, Hot Springs, LIT, Texarkana, XNA, El Dorado
Denver LIT, XNA
Detroit LIT, XNA
Houston LIT, XNA
Kansas City Harrison
Las Vegas LIT, XNA
Los Angeles XNA
Memphis Hot Springs, El Dorado, LIT, Harrison
Minneapolis/St. Paul XNA
Newark XNA
New York LIT, XNA
Orlando LIT, XNA
Phoenix LIT
St. Louis Jonesboro, LIT
Washington D.C. LIT
Intermodal Facilities

Arkansas's intermodal transportation network of highways, railways, air routes, waterways and pipelines is ideally suited to meet the needs of business and provides easy access to U.S. markets around the world. 

Intermodal freight facilities in Arkansas include the riverports at Little Rock, Pine Bluff and Van Buren. Regional intermodal freight facilities authorities in Arkansas include Blytheville-Mississippi County, Northeast Arkansas, River Valley, Western Arkansas, Southwest Arkansas and Southeast Arkansas. The Marion site is across the Mississippi River - the nation's most traveled river - from Memphis, with its international airport and FedEx Superhub. 

Pipeline/Refinery/Fuel storage complexes are throughout the state. Some include the Lion Oil refinery/fuel storage complex in El Dorado, the Valero Partners Operating Co. in West Memphis and the Central Point Terminal in North Little Rock. 


Located midway between Mexico City and Montreal, Arkansas has the nation's 12th largest network of highways. Interstate 40, a major east-west thoroughfare reaching from North Carolina to California, runs through Arkansas. Interstate 55 links eastern Arkansas to St. Louis and Chicago to the north and New Orleans to the south. Interstate 30 connects Arkansas with markets to the southwest, including Texas and Mexico.

Rail Service

Arkansas has more than 2,700 miles of track and is home to three Class I rail systems: Union Pacific, BNSF Railway and Kansas City Southern Railway. Union Pacific Railroad operates major yards in Little Rock and Pine Bluff, along with a locomotive overhaul and maintenance facility in North Little Rock. They also have a $70 million state-of-the-art intermodal facility on 600 acres at Marion, just north of where Interstates 40 and 55 converge. Nearby is the Burlington Northern Santa Fe's Harvard Yard, plus close access to three other rail carriers. 

Trucking and Distribution

With its central location and comprehensive transportation infrastructure, it's not surprising that Arkansas has a large and growing distribution and logistics services sector. In fact, Arkansas is home to two transportation/trucking companies on Fortune magazine's list of the largest 1,000 companies in the United States, based on annual revenue - J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. and ArcBest. 

The top 25 largest employers in Arkansas represent a wide variety of industries. Twenty percent of them are in the transportation services sector, including J.B. Hunt, USA Truck, FedEx Corporation, Union Pacific Railroad and PAM Transportation Services. 

The state's comprehensive transportation system can easily move bulk commodities and consumer goods. Many of Arkansas's port locations have railway connections that provide a smooth transition for various modes of transportation and quick delivery. 

Major market centers in the region include:

  • Memphis
  • Chicago
  • Atlanta
  • Dallas
  • Fort Worth
  • Houston
  • Kansas City
  • Oklahoma City
  • New Orleans
  • St. Louis

More than 1,000 miles of navigable waterways link Arkansas with ports worldwide. There is a navigable river within 65 miles of every county in the state. Arkansas's rivers remain ice-free throughout the year, allowing continuous movement of goods. Steel, fertilizers, petroleum products, grains and many other goods travel through the many public ports, private terminals and riverfront industrial sites. 

Four ports are located along the Arkansas River, in Little Rock, North Little Rock, Pine Bluff and Fort Smith. Mississippi River terminals are located in Osceola, West Memphis and McGehee. 

Download combined infrastructure map