Keesler AFB coordinating two flight critical projects
BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - One Keesler Air Force Base project is on the final approach to completion, while another is looking for a go-ahead before it can fly.
The runway is undergoing a $500,000 upgrade for normal base flight operations and for the upcoming Thunder Over the Sound event in late April.
“The pavement is complete. We’ve been letting it sit, so now at the moment, here at the end of the week we’ll be doing some grooving, then the final pavement will go down, so we’re expecting it to be open by next week, so we’re very excited,” said Col. Chad Gemeinhardt, 81st Training Wing Mission Support Group Commander. “It’s looking really positive, so thanks to the contractors and those across the community so we’re excited to get it open and we’ve got to get it open because that airshow is coming soon.”
In the meantime, most of the planes are parked over in Gulfport doing regular flights, while others are on the West Coast involved with atmospheric river missions. Now Keesler officials want to get that control tower redone. They tell us it’s the second-oldest in Air Training Command, and it needs about $18 million worth of remodeling.
“It’s got a number of issues, but we’re working hard with our state and local partners to get after that tower, because it’s critical to our runway operations,” Gemeinhardt added.
We’re told another big project for Keesler is the future redesign of Gate 7 coming off of Pass Road. They tell us those initial plans could be in place sometime later this year.
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