You will soon be able to take a direct flight from the Mississippi Gulf Coast to Washington D.C.
The Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport has received a $365,000 grant to support nonstop services to the Washington Reagan National Airport. The move, announced by members of the state’s congressional delegation on Thursday, is aimed to serve not only citizens of south Mississippi but also federal workers who spend time on both the Coast and in D.C.
Big-time economic drivers along the Mississippi Gulf Coast include Keesler Air Force Base, the Naval Construction Battalion, the Air National Guard Combat Readiness Training Center, NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center, and Huntington Ingalls along with other shipbuilders.
“There are enough federal interests on the Mississippi Gulf Coast to warrant direct flights to Washington, D.C., which we know is the top origination and destination market that is not served by a nonstop passenger service,” U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, a ranking Republican member on the committee that allocated the funds, said. “I think this is an exciting proposition that would benefit the overall defense and space presence in south Mississippi and boost the overall economy.”
U.S. Rep. Mike Ezell, who is in his first year representing the Mississippi Gulf Coast in Congress, was also pleased with the allocation.
“South Mississippi’s role in strengthening America’s national defense and innovating in space exploration makes a direct flight to Washington, D.C. a necessity,” Ezell said. “I am grateful for the airport authority’s work to pursue this project, and I look forward to continuing to support this effort and the economic boosts it will bring.”
The grant to the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport provides a revenue guarantee to cover recruitment fees and associated marketing plans to initiate the new service. It is unknown when nonstop flights from the Coast to D.C. will begin.