Airport Expands To Soar Successfully Into The Future

There are more than airplanes pulling into the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport.

Construction workers are digging and dumping in the effort to bring the one of the state's busiest airport into the 21st century.

"We're adding a ground transportation lane in the front side of the terminal. Now we've started the west side of the terminal. This will increase the size of the security checkpoint , giving us the capability for two checkpoint lanes. Next, we'll move to the south side of the airport terminal where we can increase the size of the baggage claim area. Then we'll move to the east side of the airport terminal where we'll increase the size of the ticket lobby and that will enable us to add up to two airlines in the future," said operations and maintenance director Don Shepley.

The 28-million dollar project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2006 and will nearly double the size of the airport to about 168-thousand square feet, a size airport leaders hope will help meet travelers' demands.

"The Gulf Coast has been increasing in size over the last few years and Gulfport-Biloxi airport has experienced a large increase in passengers. We'll be able to accommodate up to 22 million passengers with this expansion in the future," said Shepley.

And airport officials say that future looks bright.