Pontotoc County airport authority looking to extend runway

The Pontotoc County Airport board is looking to extend its runway to aid business travelers in the future.
With plans still on the ground floor, The Chamber of Commerce as well as the airport board, ESI engineering and the Pontotoc County supervisors are meeting with Federal Aviation Association engineers to determine how long the runway will be extended.
Pontotoc County receives funds from the FAA and now they are looking to spend these to improve the airport runway.
“Engineers from FAA recently came to help us map out some plans on the airport,” said Cecelia Derrington, Pontotoc Chamber of Commerce Director.
Derrington said plans are to get the runway “long enough so that smaller planes can land and come and go in our airport rather than having to drive from Tupelo once they fly in.”
She foresees companies such as Ashley, American Southern Motion, Toyota and others who “may possibly have people fly in and out that can use this airport rather than flying to Tupelo.”
The plans aren’t to compete with Tupelo or be a hub from a larger airport, simply to provide for small business planes the opportunity to land closer to their destination.
There is still much ground work to be done to determine how many businesses will be using the airport and how often they may use the runway.
“We will be going into the businesses and surveying them to get these numbers,” Derrington said.
But the groundwork has to be laid because when the next available grant monies are awarded in July, “we want to be ready with grant in hand to get them.”
The airport just last year finished renovations on new hangers and a new control room.
That project came in under budget.
FAA officials along with airport board authority and county government officials are set to meet next Tuesday to further draw up plans for the project.

Regina Butler/Pontotoc Progress