Gulfport Challenges Passengers To Fly From Home

On Tuesday, the Sun Herald printed a letter from airport director Bruce Frallic. Frallic urged coast residents to support new expansion at Gulfport Biloxi International Airport .

Because of the expansion, there are obvious growing pains in front of Gulfport Biloxi International Airport. What was the short term parking lot is now a pile of dirt. Eventually, it will become part of the bigger airport terminal.

Airport director Bruce Frallic is hoping the mess from the beginning of a two year construction project doesn't scare off any passengers.

"We need to get all the people that belong to us, so to speak, off the highway and into our planes at our airport," he said.

The highway Frallic referred to is Interstate 10. He worries that as many as 100,000 passengers are taking the interstate to New Orleans rather that flying from here.

"So if we can get those passengers back who are on the highway to New Orleans," the airport director said, "we're going to get those flights, we're going to get that additional service."

One passenger who often needs a boarding pass is Gene McCarlie.

"The only time I fly out of New Orleans is when I can't get a flight," he said while waiting for his Gulfport flight to board, "because I make my flight reservations at the last minute. And a lot of time, I can't get a flight out of here at the right price."

Frallic doesn't think pricing will be an issue, if more local passengers use the local airport.

"If we do that, if we can get these other 100,000 passengers, we're going to end up with six more flights a day, and a couple of new cities," he said.

Frallic said that possibility is on Gulfport's radar screen because of an expansion that has the airport soaring into the future.