Last Turboprop Leaves Local Airport

It's a site that will not be seen again at the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport .

"Since day one at Gulfport-Biloxi, Turboprops have always been a part of our daily service at the airport," Assistant Airport Director Ken Spirito says.

But those days end with the departure of Delta Flight 4331, the last turboprop flight out.

"The age of turboprops is gone," says Spirito. "Starting tomorrow, December 1st, we'll be all jet. Twenty-one daily jet departures out of Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport."

Spirito says the reason is simple. The airport and the area have outgrown the older slower turboprops.

"The airport is certainly on a trend upwards. The entire Mississippi Gulf Coast has more business and more leisure travel and because of that more people flying in from further away. The airlines are meeting that demand and putting more flights in their jets."

It's a move welcomed by the airport's business and leisure travelers.

"The jets are smoother," says business traveler Brenda Smith of Vancleave. "They're faster, they just seem to be more dependable."

"It's smoother, not as noisy," say Allen and Wendy Jeffers of Newport News, VA.

"With all the jets and the expansion, I think it's good for the Gulf Coast. I think it brings more industry and business and tourism," says Pete Butera of Biloxi.

So with much fanfare, travelers say good-bye to the Turboprop and hello to a faster, smoother, and growing service at Gulfport Biloxi International Airport.