Airport commission creating improvement plan

Published 12:01 am Thursday, January 4, 2018

NATCHEZ — The Adams County Airport Commission will hold three special meetings in January to choose a consultant to create a prospective airport master plan.

Ron Hall, director of aviation at the Natchez-Adams County Airport, said the creation of a master plan would explain to the community what the feasible next steps are for the improvement of the airport.

“They’re focused on what we need and what we can expect,” Hall said.

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The plan will map out goals for the airport for the next five, 10 and 20 years, Hall said.

The master plan would incorporate an airport layout plan update, pavement condition assessment, approach surveys and wildlife hazard assessments.

The plan takes approximately eight months to a year to complete, and should be renewed every 10 years, Hall said.

The last plan on record for the Natchez-Adams County Airport, however, is from 1976.

Having a master plan in place, he said, will aid in applying and receiving grant money for airport improvements.

“It’s time we get this plan in place so we can stop just meeting the status quo,” Hall said. “This place has a lot of potential.”

Improvement to the airport, Hall said, would benefit the town’s economy by bringing in more businesses and more tourism.

“We see the effect a good airport has had in Meridian and Tupelo,” he said. “They both have a master plan.”

Before a plan can be created, however, a third-party consultant must be chosen to complete the work.

Hall and other representatives of the airport, city and county will meet at 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 16, 17 and 18 at the City Council Chambers.

The meetings are open to the public and Hall said he encourages members of the community to attend.

“This is not just about the airport,” he said. “This will affect everybody. I’ve been through this (master plan) process before, and it’s a treat.”

Hall said after he hears the proposals from the three companies, Kutchins & Groh, Mead & Hunt and Burns & McDonnell, he hopes to make a hiring decision by the next commission meeting on Jan. 25.

“We hope to have them under contract by March,” he said. “We haven’t heard anything about price yet. Right now, we are only considering quality.”