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Renovations coming to Brookhaven-Lincoln County Airport

Renovations are coming soon to the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Airport. The airport received a competitive grant from the Mississippi Department of Transportation in the amount of $173,903 for improvements.

In March, the airport board applied for the MDOT Multi-Modal Transportation Improvement Program. The program establishes a special fund, into which state funds may be deposited to be expended by the Mississippi Department of Transportation for the improvement of airports, ports, railroads and transit systems in the state.

Ryan Holmes, who is an advisor on the airport board, said they were notified earlier this week of receiving the financial award.

“I believe that MDOT had $3 million to split up between all of the airports in Mississippi,” Holmes said. “The larger airports get most of the share because they are regional or international airports, so we were pleased to get our share.”

Several improvements are needed at the airport, Holmes said. Fencing improvements surrounding the airport are planned. The gate to enter the airport currently doesn’t work and the asphalt surrounding the fuel farm tank will be replaced with concrete. The fuel farm tank is where the airplanes fill up with fuel.

Paul Barnett, chairman of the airport advisory committee, is glad to see improvements coming.

“We’re very excited to be a recipient of the multi-modal funds,” Barnett said. “It’s a competition among airports throughout the state, so we feel very fortunate to be a recipient. It will enable us to enhance the safety of airport operations and improve the image of the airport itself.”

Barnett said repairing the fuel farm area will improve the refueling area for aircraft coming in and out.

“Fixing our fuel farm will help us to better maintain a safe area for refueling aircraft,” Barnett said. “Most airports have a concrete pad facility for fuel. One of the issues we’re having right now when jet fuel falls out, it is softening the asphalt. So when something heavy drives over it, such as an airplane, it will sink and make an indention.”

Replacing the asphalt surrounding the fuel tanks will be most of the cost, according to Holmes.

“I believe that part will be $87,000 worth of the project,” Holmes said. “We’re also going to improve the helipad out there for emergency aircraft. When you land in a helicopter it is basically burning holes in the asphalt. We have to have something better under there.”

There are also plans to build a canopy around the fuel farm area.

“We’ll start immediately on the design and hope to have it ready to bid at the end of August,” Holmes said.