HCPHC Receives Funding for Aerostrip at Stennis International Airport

April 9, 2021

The Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission was awarded $2.5 million in the second round of Gulf Coast Restoration Funds approved this week by the Mississippi Legislature. The funding will be used to build a 4,000-foot by 90-foot concrete Aerostrip at Stennis International Airport to support military operations, unmanned aerial systems and future spaceport launch and recovery operations.

Stennis International Airport supports multiple military operations including training operations.

In addition to supporting training and other military operations, the concrete runway will be constructed for vertical take-off and landings and assault landings by military C-17 and C-130 aircraft without interrupting other airport operations.

The Aerostrip also will allow academic, defense, and private organizations to conduct unmanned systems operations without impacting the airport’s air traffic customers.

Additionally, HCPHC is seeking an FAA license to establish Spaceport operations at Stennis, and the airstrip will serve as a taxiway to a refueling area for commercial payloads.

"This funding is vital to our continuing support of the many military operations that take place at Stennis International Airport. The new Aerostrip also is important for our defense training arena, developing unmanned systems operations, and for the Spaceport operations at Stennis in the future," said Bill Cotter, CEO of the Port and Harbor Commission.