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Airports lift local economy

August 7, 2014


According to a recent report released by the Mississippi Department of Transportation, Mississippi’s airports have a $2.5 billion impact on the state’s economy and supported more than 20,000 jobs.
The Golden Triangle Regional Airport (GTR) in Lowndes ranked third in the state, and brought more than $270 million to the area.
“We are proud to be part of the tremendous economic growth in the Golden Triangle,” GTR Executive Director Mike Hainsey said. “The exciting part is that we are still growing as more industries and people look at making our part of Mississippi their home.”
An airport can be a good stream of revenue for a town as well as a convenience for those wishing to charter flights, and McCharen Field in West Point provides both, according to city officials.
West Point Mayor Robbie Robinson said McCharen Field is an asset to local business owners as it gives them a convenient point to fly from, as well as house their aircraft.
“It offers local businesses the opportunity to have a local airport without having to worry about traveling to Columbus or Jackson for a flight,” Robinson said.
He said McCharen Field has three enclosed hangars and one open-air hangar for aircraft storage, and the rents the spaces in the open-air hangar for $60 per month. The enclosed hangars are leased to local businesses in long-term agreements, according to Robinson.
“We have 11 aircraft that are in long-term residence in the hangars,” he said. “About five of them are owned by local businesses, and the rest are owned by individuals who may flay as a hobby.”

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