Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport set to upgrade their industrial park infrastructure

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 6:23 PM CDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport (PIB) is set to upgrade the infrastructure at their industrial park site located on Superior Drive.

According to airport executive director Tom Heanue, the project will include installing new water and sewer lines in order to attract new businesses to the site.

“Everything we do out here is geared to try to get jobs,” Heanue said. “We’re hoping that the things we do will make us a little more competitive so that when these businesses come looking, they want to be here in the Pine Belt.”

“When people get jobs, they pay sales tax, they also pay school tax and they pay for tags. These are long-term investments for our people.” Heanue added.

Earlier in the year, both Forrest and Jones County Supervisors voted to give the airport $450,000 each for a total of $900,000, which will go towards the project.

This money comes from funds provided to states by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, also called the COVID-19 Stimulus Package.

The package included $1.9 trillion passed by Congress to speed up recovery from the economic and health effects of the coronavirus pandemic and was dispersed to each state, of which Mississippi garnered $1.8 billion.

The prime location of the airport’s industrial park includes being situated adjacent to Interstate 59 and serving as a hub for the Pine Belt area and surrounding cities.

Prior to upgrading the airport’s infrastructure, preliminary plans must be submitted, and bids are taken, Airport officials say they expect the project to be completed by the end of Spring 2022.

Another bit of good news for the airport; airline boardings are up and a new aviation services company is under construction.

In May of this year, 1,292 boardings were reported by PIB compared to only 383 boardings in May 2020.

A new hanger is also currently being built and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

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