HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Runways at the Bobby L. Chain Municipal Airport are getting an expensive renovation.
The Hattiesburg City Council approved to pay engineering consulting firm ARE Consultants $83,450.24 to "evaluate and design a taxiway extension" at the airport.
"For years, the airport was just there," said Kim Bradley, Hattiesburg City Council president. "We didn't have a professional person overseeing it, understanding the importance and the significance of what it means to Hattiesburg and to the industrial park around it. Since ARE was hired some five or six years ago, the projects that have gone on out there are just unbelievable. We have resurfaced the entire runway. Now we're extending the taxiway. There's a lighting improvement plan that also is in play at this time."
Bradley said having a top notch airport is important for business and development in Hattiesburg.
"It's major," he said. "When these companies want to come in here and build a plant and they need access to Hattiesburg, that's how they have access: in their private planes coming in and out of that airport."
Bradley said ARE laid out a 15-year business plan to improve the airport when the group was initially hired, and this runway lengthening and widening is just one of the projects included in that plan.