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"Opinion: Mississippi airport could propel local business"

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Airport could propel local business
The Natchez (MS) Democrat

Local economic developers hope and pray potential prospects come to town
with empty bladders -at least if they travel by corporate aircraft. That's
because the local airport "facilities" are horribly outdated.

Would-be investors in our community have been greeted by airport restrooms
that looked quite spiffy back in the late 1950s when the airport terminal
was constructed, but have since become grossly behind the times.

The bathrooms at the Natchez-Adams County Airport -and much of the rest of
the terminal, too -give a whole new meaning to our area's old marketing
slogan: Where the old South still lives.

Fortunately, thanks to a $136,000 grant from the Mississippi Department of
Transportation, local airport officials soon plan to perform a significant
facelift to the aging facility.

In addition to the terminal renovations, we hope county and airport
officials will get the complete airport in tip-top shape, painting fences,
hangars, etc., so the facility - from hangar to toilet seat -
are all clean, neat and orderly.

For many residents, investing in the airport may seem foolish. Most locals
sort of forget we even have an airport sometimes. But the airport is a huge
asset to our area -albeit an under-utilized one.

The airport is heavily used by businesses from local oil exploration
companies to many out-of-town companies who arrive to check out the area in
hopes of potentially bringing new jobs to the area.

The airport is often the first thing these company representatives see when
they first visit. First impressions are everything.

Outdated facilities may cause a potential investor to be turned off and thus
flush our chances of landing new jobs. We can no longer afford that chance.

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