Greetings MAA Members,

Well, this is not the way I had hoped to start the new year. As most have heard by now, longtime board member Elton Jay passed away on January 26. His loss has left a huge hole in our Board of Directors that can never be replaced. His knowledge and insight on aviation in Mississippi will be greatly missed.

MAA Capitol Day occurred on February 1, and this year we were able to be recognized as an association in the Senate Chamber. Some meaningful conversations were had with legislators that led to a few bills being drafted regarding funds available to airports. One bill, SB2637, was drafted to set a defined equal split of Strategic Multimodal funds among the three modes. Three bills, HB1451, HB1476 and SB2505, were drafted to create an Airport Critical Needs Fund of $10 million to be administered by MDOT to help with critical needs that arise between other funding cycles. I am sorry to report that despite our efforts, none of the bills survived the first deadline on March 5. Conversations are continuing, and there still is a chance we might get some type of extra funding later in the session.

The deadline for the new Strategic Multimodal Investment Fund applications has passed, and I hope everyone submitted an application. I don’t have the specific mode breakdowns, but I can report there was $85 million total in requests. This definitely shows a need for more money, and we are working to get the Legislature to increase funds in the program this year.


Wes Kirkpatrick
Mississippi Airports Association