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Tupelo airport board gives nod to SeaPort

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TUPELO, Miss. (AP) — The Tupelo Airport Authority Board has chosen Portland, Oregon-based SeaPort Airlines for local passenger service.

If approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation, SeaPort will replace Silver Airways, which in April announced it was leaving Greenville, Hattiesburg, Meridian, Tupelo and Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Greenville and Muscle Shoals, Alabama, also are recommending SeaPort.

Tom Sieber, SeaPort Airlines' executive vice president, says the Cessna Grand Caravan the company uses can seat nine people, in addition to a pilot and co-pilot.

Board members say SeaPort is offering 12 weekly round-trips to Memphis and 18 round-trips to Nashville for a federal subsidy of $2.5 million.

Tupelo Airport Executive Director Josh Abramson says if the government approved SeaPort, then flights will most likely begin in October or November.

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