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Northwest National airport committee approves pay raise for Burkes

by NWA Democrat-Gazette | December 9, 2021 at 7:00 a.m.
Passengers head for Thanksgiving Day flights on Thursday Nov. 25 2021 at Northwest Arkansas National Airport..(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)

HIGHFILL -- The Northwest Arkansas National Airport board's Personnel Committee on Wednesday approved a 7% raise for the airport's chief executive officer.

Aaron Burkes' salary this year is $233,875. It will increase to $249,407 next year.

The committee last month recommended engaging a compensation consultant to help ensure pay for senior staff members remains competitive with the market.

Johanson Group in Fayetteville performed the study, which recommended the 7% raise for Burkes.

Howard Kerr, committee chair, told the other members the board is only involved in the compensation of the chief executive officer. Burkes is responsible for the pay increases of other senior staff members, Kerr said.

Brian Burke, airport authority board chairman, said Burkes is provided a vehicle and he drives to and from work and on airport business. Burkes does not use the vehicle for personal reasons, Burke said.

Burkes told the committee all line employees at the airport will receive a $1,000 bonus. Burkes and members of his senior staff will not receive the bonuses.

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