By Kathy Kenne, Executive Director
Mississippi Airports Association
This year’s annual conference, held in early November in beautiful Gulfport, was quite a success! Everyone enjoyed being together again after meeting virtually in 2020. Approximately 160 attended. Featured speakers included Dr. Daniel Edney from the State Department of Health; Jamie Miller from the Mississippi Development Authority; Dirk Vanderleest of Concord Regional Airport; Jim Brinson of the Mississippi Department of Homeland Security; Lt. Col. Sean Cross of the Hurricane Hunters; Madison Dixon of MSU’s Raspet Flight Research Lab; Joe Saia of Delta State University; Ryan Waguespack of the National Air Transportation Association; Matt Dowell representing ACRP; Troy Ross, Charles Carr and Josh Stubbs of MDOT; Jeff Wagner of Baker Donelson; Rans Black of FAA and Kim Jackson of TSA. Many of their presentations can be seen here.
We welcomed some new exhibitors and sponsors this year as well as old friends. Multiple events added to the enjoyment including golf, skeet shooting and an outing to the Mississippi Aquarium for spouses and guests.
Since the meeting fell on Veterans Day, we saluted those who have served with a special opening ceremony that included the presentation of the colors by the Biloxi High School Junior ROTC. Later that night, at a party by the pool, we shared a cake made especially for the occasion. Another highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Professional of the Year award to Sam Washington. Sam was recognized for his many contributions to aviation in the state, not the least of which was steering MAA through an extended term of more than three years as President during some very challenging times. Congratulations and thank you, Sam!
The dates for the 2022 conference are September 7-9 in Starkville. Please mark your calendars now.