Grant funds approved for local airport

Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 26, 2016

Grant funding to make adjustments to the city’s taxiway at the Picayune Municipal Airport was awarded to the city this week.
According to a press release from Senator Roger Wicker’s office, the Federal Aviation Administration approved $4.5 million in grants to 19 airports in Mississippi. Picayune’s airport will receive $192,686 of that funding to conduct the work to the taxiway that will provide fixed wing and helicopters with a safer route to their respective hangars.
A motion to apply for the funding was approved by the city council in August of last year, according to previous coverage.
Airport Manager Andy Greenwood said he’s glad to hear the grant was approved so this taxiway can be built to separate the fixed wing and helicopter traffic. By separating that traffic, while these craft are on the ground, the safety at the airport will be increased.
Greenwood said he couldn’t say when the work will begin because there’s still some engineering work to be done.
The airport is also home to fixed based operations of Chevron and El Paso Corporation, which use helicopters in their oil and natural gas exploration efforts, Cloud Nine Aviation, which provides lessons to would be pilots, and Phillips Aviation who provides aircraft maintenance services.
The current airport is about 16 years old, and was previously located in the middle of town off of Airport Road.
Over the past few years it’s also been used for training exercises by the National Guard.
Long-term, city officials would like to expand the length of the runway so it can accommodate larger aircraft.

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