Airport deserving of money, attention

Published 12:24 pm Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Natchez has four major gateways: the highway, the railway, the river and the airport.

Much attention has been paid to the highways, thanks to the efforts of the Mississippi and Louisiana Departments of Transportation.

Most recently, officials have talked of relighting the Mississippi river bridges connecting Natchez and Vidalia.

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Speaking of the river, the City of Natchez has for a year or more also been working to lease space for three docks for river cruises to land.

A $13 million project to increase the weight-bearing capabilities of the Natchez Railroad, which connects Natchez and Brookhaven, is also underway allowing more goods and services to be transported along its lines.

However, the airport has been in need of love and attention for quite some time.

Last year, airport officials unveiled a 20-year master plan needed for the airport to be eligible for Federal Aviation Administration grants. In this plan, it was thought that bringing on commercial airlines as airport tenants was a long way off. However, the city’s tourism and film industry partners have been nudging city officials to get it done faster.

As Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson noted, it is more a matter of bringing commercial flights back to the airport.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Southern Airways was a  regular tenant at the Natchez-Adams County Airport, as many who were alive back then can recall.

However, times have changed since then and it is going to take a lot of work, and money, to get the airport ready for commercial use once again.

We applaud our Natchez and Adams County officials for giving the airport the attention it needs and deserves.

Small airlines are already connecting Greenville to Dallas, Nashville and New Orleans. It is about time we started looking at how Natchez can be added to their flight path.