Stennis airport gets major upgrades

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News,Business

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (AP) — Million Air Stennis, a company which runs aeronautical operations at Stennis International Airport in Hancock County, is constructing a new building and hangar that dwarfs the one-story facility they have been using.

Shaped like two giant, glass-paneled trapezoids, the building will offer a number of services to pilots, crews and passengers.

David Turner, Million Air general manager, told The Sun Herald (http://bit.ly/1tJ7Yvg ) there will be a conference room, theater, flight planning room, cafe, two lounges, two sleeper rooms for overnight stays. Jet Away Cafe will offer breakfast and lunch.

"We can't wait to get in there," said Turner. "When people leave hopefully they have in their minds, 'Why would we want to go anywhere else?'"

The airport makes most of its money through fuel purchases, Turner said, so any additional fees are waived if fuel is bought. A landing fee and overnight fee based on the weight of the aircraft would otherwise apply.

The airport also recently added a 125-acre drop zone. Turner said 60 percent to 70 percent of the customers are military-related and come there for various training exercises, including cargo drops.

The area is perfect for military exercises, he said, because Stennis Space Center's acoustic buffer zone prevents nearby development.

"A lot of military training can be done out here because we don't have a lot of buildup around us," he said.

The Federal Aviation Administration recently gave Stennis $235,053 for new fencing along its perimeter.

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Information from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com

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