from Mississippi Airports Association
Jackson, Miss.– The Mississippi Airports Association presented its inaugural Propel Award to Brad White, Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT), during its annual conference last week.
The Propel Award is presented when an individual exemplifies outstanding leadership and support of aviation in Mississippi.
This year, with White at the helm of MDOT, the Mississippi Legislature created the new $30 million Strategic Multi Modal Investments Fund to support long term economic growth in the state.
“I am honored to receive this award,” stated White. “Airports play a pivotal role in the state’s economic development as well as our current economy. We want to ensure that they continue to evolve so the needs of our state and its citizens are met and even exceeded.”
Mississippi is home to 80 airports – 74 public and six private. Seven offer commercial service. In its most recent economic impact study, MDOT found that aviation had an economic impact of more than $2.5 billion, and 20,025 jobs were traced to the state’s aviation sector.
In addition to channeling business travel, tourism and commercial cargo, airports also make a tremendous contribution toward the state’s economic development efforts. Industrial sectors such as agriculture, aerospace manufacturing and oil and gas rely heavily on the strength and agility of the state’s airports. Additionally, they enhance quality of life through support of emergency services like law enforcement and air ambulance and by supporting military operations and aviation-related education.
“There is no better person to receive the first Propel Award,” said the Mississippi Airports Association’s immediate Past President, Tom Heanue. “Brad is providing excellent leadership at MDOT. We couldn’t be more pleased with the new funding available through the Strategic Multi Modal Fund. This will be a real catalyst for growth at our airports and the communities they serve.”