Jackson Co.'s Aviation Technology Park gets special certification

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX)- "We are all about positioning ourselves and positioning this community in a competitive light."

A huge celebration banner was raised at Trent Lott Airport Thursday to officially certify Jackson County's Aviation Technology Park Project as a Project Ready Site. Economic Foundation Director George Freeland said there 300 acres of land ready for aviation and aerospace development.

"The point of the program is to one identify the marketable sites that have enormous potential for new industrial and or technology involvement." Freeland explained. "Two, to make sure all the preparatory work is in place, environmental clearances, utility plans."

Ed McCallum is one the main consultants on this project.

"Just having a certified site doesn't mean you are going to win. It means that you will not be eliminated because your site is not acceptable, and it gives you the right to compete," McCallum said.

Mississippi Power's John Atherton said his company funded the certification, which took about eight months to complete.

"This county can portray to a potential industry what it will take, how long it will take, and how much it will take to move their facilities to this site," Atherton said.

Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems was the first company to move to the Aviation Park.  Economic leaders hope this new certification will attract more companies from around the country.

"It should be noted that Jackson County has had  tremendous success in this aviation and aerospace arena already. I think today is a new beginning for them in that is poises them for even greater success," Atherton said.

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