Progress Looking Good In Airport Expansion

About 900,000 people travel through the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport each year and once improvements are complete, that number may grow.

"The terminal, when it's finished, will be able to handle about 2.4 million. So we are really going to be in good shape in the next several years," says Airport Director Bruce Frallic.

Construction plans at the airport are not the only thing that has Frallic excited. He says airlines are also making changes.

"Just recently of course, June first, we got service from Allegiant Airlines going to both Orlando and Las Vegas. And we are very happy to say that service is doing very well, averaging about 130 passengers per flight. Delta is going to upgrade its service here in September adding another MD88 and four 70 passenger jets. So, that's a real nice increase in seats available during a time of year when we need that for development," Frallic said.

Signs of progress can be seen throughout the entire airport. Another boarding gate will open in about a week. Across from the airport, work is underway to build a Marriott Residence Inn and Hilton Garden Inn. Both hotels are Go Zone projects and will mean big business for the coast.

"It really is going to help the airport take ourselves to the next level - the tier one type destination where people actually drive in here, enjoy our nightlife, our casinos here and then fly out early in the morning. And it's great for local business too," Frallic said.

The airport expansion project is expected to be completed later this fall.