Airport parking garage opens in time for holiday travel

By Steve Phillips - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - There's good news for travelers who use the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport. No more long hikes from faraway parking spaces.

The airport's long-awaited parking garage is open for business.

2008 has been a year of significant improvements at Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport. A terminal expansion and improvement project was dedicated in mid February. The latest addition is a private investment by Republic Parking: A new three story parking facility.

"We have 800 spaces in this garage, and of course, it's three floors. It means a great deal to the airport, because to this point, people have had to walk quite a distance to get to parking," said Airport Director, Bruce Frallic.

Travelers we talked with are pleased with the new 15 million dollar garage and the other airport improvements. Joann Keigley brought her son to the airport to catch an afternoon flight.

She says the new garage and terminal expansion are welcome additions.

"It's great. It's wonderful because before it was so cluttered. You couldn't get in and out. It was terrible. But now, it's fantastic. It looks really good," said Keigley.

Not only is this new parking garage the latest in a growing list of airport improvements, its grand opening is also perfect timing, with Thanksgiving just a few days away and the start of the busy holiday travel season.

"Over the past few years, our business has grown so much that we've had to utilize overflow parking around the airport. So, this garage just makes a tremendous convenience for our customers," says Airport Marketing Manager Jim Pitts.

"We're delighted to have it open. We still have some work to do like landscaping and things like that. But we wanted to get it open prior to the holidays, so we didn't have to go into overflow parking," said Frallic.

Road improvements are next on the list of airport projects. The City of Gulfport and M-DOT are planning to convert the intersection of Airport Road and Three Rivers into a "round-a-bout" or traffic circle.

Plans are also in the works to extend John Hill Boulevard from Highway 49 to the airport property.