Coast airport receives $6.7 million grant
By Steven Gagliano
U.S. Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith and Representative Steven Palazzo announced the award of a $6,727,759 grant to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) for the Trent Lott International Runway Improvements project.
The funds are being made available as part of the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act), which provides funding for Gulf Coast states affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.
“This grant is welcome news for Jackson County and the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” Wicker said. “These improvements to Trent Lott International will boost capacity at the airport and sharpen south Mississippi’s competitive edge as a destination for our nation’s most advanced manufacturers.”
“Expanding growth all along the Mississippi Gulf Coast requires improved infrastructure. The Lott International Airport improvements financed with this RESTORE Act funding will help meet this goal with a runway that can support more and larger aircraft,” Hyde-Smith said.
“Improving the runway to accommodate for larger planes will allow for an increased economic capacity for business in the area. I welcome this expansion and know that it will continue delivering increased economic activity to south Mississippi,” Palazzo said.
“We thank our Congressional delegation and Governor Bryant for continuing to support the growth and expansion of our airport,” said George Freeland, executive director of the Jackson County Economic Development Foundation. “Trent Lott International Airport already is home to world-class manufacturing at Northrop Grumman’s manned and unmanned systems facility, but Jackson County remains focused on strategic improvements that position this community for continued growth in the aviation sector. None of the success that we have experienced in the past, nor will experience in the future, would be possible without our state and federal partners.”
MDEQ will subaward the project to the Jackson County Airport Authority to support engineering and design, surveying, permitting, and construction. The improvements will allow the airport to accommodate medium and large cargo planes used by local industries, providing another asset in south Mississippi for industrial recruitment.