$44 Million Landing At Gulfport-Biloxi Airport

With $44 million under his wing, airport director Bruce Frallic is a happy man.

"This is the greatest thing to ever happen at Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport."

The federal government is picking up the entire tab to rebuild what Katrina tore apart.

"Some airfield work, which is fairly limited right now, terminal repairs, a new cargo facility, new general aviation facility, the ramps anyway and also the rent-a-car service center facility. So it's about 18 months, 16 to 18 months," Frallic says.

Frallic gave U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, Senator Trent Lott and FAA Administrator Marion Blakey a close up look at some of the work that started before the hurricane, and has since resumed.

"Indeed the time will come when Gulfport Biloxi International Airport is once again a thriving hub of economic reality and the grant that we're announcing today will play a vital role in that revival," says Mineta.

FAA Administrator Marion Blakey says, "The secretary nailed it when he said this is one of the largest airport grants we have given. This one is all about the renaissance of Gulfport, the renaissance of this region and the ability to build a real airport of tomorrow."

Senator Lott praised Mineta's loyalty to the Coast.

"This secretary has been personal, he's been responsive, he's worked with us when we had little glitches and problems. His attitude has been, 'We will find a way to say yes.'"

Lott says the Coast's hurricane recovery includes transportation improvements across the board. And with $44 million those improvements will happen at the airport much quicker.

Frallic says they'll take bids on the work next month, with construction starting in September.