Airport Expansion Soaring Ahead In Gulfport - - The News for South Mississippi

Airport Expansion Soaring Ahead In Gulfport

A bigger and better Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport is taking shape.

"It's going from 92,000 to 165,000 square feet," says airport Executive Director Bruce Frallic.

He says very few people have seen just how far construction has come.  

"You'll have a counter for each of the five rental car agencies," says Frallic. "We'll have one other counter down here in the baggage claim area for the ground transportation."

What's now the rough shell of a building still under construction will soon be a sight to behold by the growing number of travelers who pass through the cramped and outdated facility.  

"There will be ticket counters that way, baggage claim in that direction, and escalators straight ahead," says Frallic, pointing out the features of the new terminal. "That's the original face of the building there and you can see it's about a 35 foot difference. This is all circulation out in here, something we don't have in this terminal building."

The $50 million expansion is going on along side nearly $70 million worth of hurricane related repair work. When the new terminal opens, Frallic says passengers will have more room to move and the airport, more room to grow.  

"That's the way you do it. You know, you can't entice a new airline to come to your market unless you've got the space for them. And by the same token, you can't ask an existing airline to increase its service unless he has enough space."

And enough space is something Frallic is thrilled to say they'll finally have less than a year from now.  

"Oh man, it's going to be fantastic."  

by Don Culpepper

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