Natchez Conference a Success

Approximately 175 people gathered in Natchez last month for our annual conference. Attendees heard about topics such as drones, aviation activity forecasting, ethics and security. Speakers included Shelly Simi, President & CEO of the National Association of State Aviation Officials; Dr. Sharon Sarmiento, Principal at Unison Consulting, Inc.; FAA Southern Region Administrator Michael O’Harra and Dallas Brooks of the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence, among others. State officials spoke as well, including Southern District Transportation Commissioner Tom King, State Auditor Shad White and Mississippi Ethics Commission Executive Director Tom Hood. Reports were presented on legislative and MDOT matters, and Garver’s Nick Holland emceed “Electrical Aviation Jeopardy.”

Award-winning Mississippi sportswriter Rick Cleveland entertained as featured speaker at the Thursday luncheon and recognition ceremony, and all enjoyed live music, barbecue and beer that night at the Natchez Brewing Company.

Mel Pomfrey, Director of Operations for Tupelo Regional Airport, was named 2019 MAA Professional of the Year. Mel’s background in aviation safety, law enforcement and fire protection, combined with his aptitude for leadership and team building, have made a tremendous impact on air service in northeast Mississippi.

Tribute was also paid to the late David Wynn, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Mississippi.  On behalf of the organization, MAA President Sam Washington presented a resolution to David’s wife Joann and daughter Brittani in appreciation of David’s support for Mississippi’s airport officials and service to our state.

Our many sponsors and exhibitors helped ensure the conference’s success. Many thanks to them for their involvement!


Jackson Municipal Airport Authority



Baker Donelson, PA

Neel-Schaffer, Inc.

Tupelo Regional Airport



Allen & Hoshall


Barge Design Solutions

Burns Cooley Dennis, Inc.

Dungan Engineering, PA

Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions, Inc.


Gulfport Biloxi International Airport

Kutchins & Groh, LLC

MDOT Aeronautics

Michael Baker International, Inc.

Natchez Adams County Airport

Clinton Pomeroy, Airport Consultant

Quantum Spatial, Inc.

Shows Dearman & Waits

Sunbelt Sealing

Taffy Pippin Consulting, LLC

Waggoner Engineering



ACE Consulting and Design, LLC

Asphalt Systems, Inc.

Dukes, Dukes, Keating & Faneca, PA

Engineering Plus

Engineering Solutions, Inc.

EPIC Fuels

JBHM Architecture

Visit Natchez



Airport Cooperative Research Program

Airport Lighting Company

American Concrete Paving Association

Asphalt Systems, Inc.

Astronics DME

Bright Portal Resources, LLC

Electrical & Construction Specialists, Inc.

Grip-Flex Surfacing/Ameriseal of Ohio

Official Mississippi Tour Guide

Rebel Services, LLC

Schulte Industries Limited

Thales Air Traffic Management

Titan Aviation Fuels/Shell Aviation

Trinity Highway Rentals

U.S. Aerospace Defense Group

Mel Pomfrey (third from left) receives the Professional of the Year award. With him are (from left) Tupelo Regional Airport Director Cliff Nash, MAA Vice President Carol Snapp of Trent Lott International Airport, and MAA President Sam Washington of Greenville Mid-Delta Airport.

Tribute was paid to the late David Wynn, TSA Federal Security Director for Mississippi. Shown are (from left) TSA’s Annunziato Misurelli and Monya Bates, Brittani Wynn, Joann Wynn, MAA President Sam Washington and TSA’s Dwain McClain.

The conference was a success thanks to our sponsors, including presidential sponsor Jackson Municipal Airport Authority, represented here by JMAA board member Lee Bernard, who is shown with MAA Vice President Carol Snapp.

A good time was had by all at the Thursday evening party at the Natchez Brewing Company.