Hancock County port leaders excited about development plans - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Hancock County port leaders excited about development plans

Leaders say $8 million in RESTORE Act funds will be used to finish a transloading dock on the 42 acre site. (Photo source: WLOX News) Leaders say $8 million in RESTORE Act funds will be used to finish a transloading dock on the 42 acre site. (Photo source: WLOX News)
HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

Building a new airport hangar and finishing a planned loading dock development in Hancock County are both included on the list of BP-funded projects announced by the governor this week.

Stennis International Airport is a busy place these days. Control tower flights at Stennis have increased 32 percent over the past year, and the airport needs more space to accommodate future growth.

“Stennis International Airport has leased out all of its available space at this time. So, we're very excited to see this RESTORE Act grant come our way,” said airport director, Bill Cotter.

The $2 million will pay for a new hangar; phase two of a planned expansion.

“Phase one was a new terminal building that has really increased out traffic here on the airport and also included a 24,000 square foot hangar. So this will give us another 24,000 and be a mirror image of what we have today and hopefully put more people to work in that new hangar,” said Cotter.

At Port Bienville, space is also at a premium.

“Presently, Port Bienville has all of its usable dock space leased out,” said director, Steve Landry.

Additionally, $8 million in RESTORE Act funds will be used to finish a transloading dock on the 42 acre site.

“It's a transloading site that we had envisioned for many years now. We hope that this money will allow us to build the bulkhead and put a flat area and also maybe extend the rail. Rail, truck and barge or water access. And that's what we'll have here, we'll have barge, rail and truck,” said Landry.

With 3,600 acres in all and 18 tenants, the loading dock project is seen as the next step in growing the port.

“Once we have this facility developed, we think it's really going to help us expand the port in the future,” said Landry.

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