UPDATE: Two options for Tupelo runway project to be explored

By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – An extension of the runway at Tupelo Regional Airport is still being considered, but the closure of West Jackson Street Extended is off the table.
City leaders, airport officials, engineers and the manager of the Federal Aviation Administration’s district office met Monday to talk about the extension project.
The FAA has approved lengthening the runway from 6,500 feet to 7,500 feet.
That project, which has been studied and talked about for four years, ran into stiff opposition when airport officials said West Jackson Street Extended would have to be rerouted.
But at Monday’s two-hour meeting, a consensus was reached in which two options for the project would be studied:
1) Extending the runway to 8,000 feet and finding an east-west corridor connecting Coley Road to West Jackson. This option could also include a tunnel.
2) Extending the runway on the south end and north end without having to close or reroute West Jackson Extended.
Tupelo Airport Authority Chairman said the group would have to authorize engineering firm Neel-Schaffer to look into the two options.
The authority has a regularly scheduled board meeting Tuesday night and could take up the matter, he said.
Funding for the study would be paid for through Airport Improvement Plan grants available through the FAA.

Read more in Tuesday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper