MDOT Report

By Tommy Booth, Director
MDOT Aeronautics

As many of you know, I will be retiring on June 30th. It has been a pleasure serving as the Aeronautics Director for Mississippi over the past 14 years. When I came here in October 1999, Elton Jay told me this was the best job in the state. How true that turned out to be! We worked together until June 2007, when he passed the baton to me. I learned so much from him and forever will be grateful for all that he taught me.

I’ve truly been blessed to work side-by-side with such amazing people! From the airport directors and their staffs to the airport consultants, I want to say thank you. You are some of the most knowledgeable and professional people I’ve ever had the privilege to work with, and I appreciate the friendships made. To Kathy, Kirsten and the Mississippi Airports Association, thank you for allowing me to serve on the board and help with the annual conference. And to my staff in the Aeronautics Division, I want to thank Heather Grippando and Heather Brown (aka, the Heathers) for their work in making the day-to-day operations run smoothly. On average, we administer about 65–70 projects annually. We process more than 200 reimbursement requests each year. That’s a lot for a 3-person division! I also want to thank our airport inspector, David Lowery, who retired from the division and came back to work part-time. His inspections are critical to ensure the safe operation of these airports.

For the next chapter, I plan to remain involved with airports. I’m taking a couple of months off and will do a little traveling and spend some time on the water. I am looking forward to seeing y’all in September at the MAA conference in Biloxi!