Officials cut ribbon on new hangar at Stennis Airport
January 26, 2022
KILN, MISS. – U.S. Congressman Steven Palazzo and Gov. Tate Reeves joined local officials and industry representatives today at Stennis International Airport for a ribbon cutting ceremony at a new 24,000-square-foot hangar.
Known as the RESTORE Hangar, the state-of-the-art facility is adjacent to the main terminal and opens directly to the main ramp. It features a hangar door that is 154 feet wide and 28 feet high. The premier location includes utility rooms, restrooms and a foam fire suppression system.
“The new hangar at Stennis International Airport is an embodiment of the great investments that the RESTORE Act has brought to south Mississippi since it was passed by Congress in 2012. This bill was intended to revitalize our Gulf Coast communities, and through projects like this state-of-the-art hangar, it is doing just that. I’m proud to see a piece of legislation that I championed bringing so many new jobs to our home and that this community airport remains a premiere destination for aviation, military, and industry partners,” said Congressman Steven Palazzo.
“When it comes to RESTORE Act funds, my top priority will always be ensuring every penny meant for Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, goes to Mississippi’s Gulf Coast,” said Governor Tate Reeves. “The RESTORE Hangar will be an important part of our multilayered strategy to propel Mississippi’s economy to new heights. It highlights what we can achieve with effective partnerships at the federal, state, and local levels. I look forward to working with all of our partners to make sure Mississippi’s Gulf Coast remains a premier destination for the aviation and aerospace industries.”
The $5.24 million project was awarded to Drace Construction Corp., of Long Beach, in November 2019. It was funded in part by a $1.85 million RESTORE grant.
“Port and Harbor Commission is committed to being the cornerstone of Mississippi’s aviation industry,” CEO Bill Cotter. “Thanks to the support of federal, state and local partners, we invested over $5 million in this project to support business operations and continued growth.”
The new hangar is already leased by Tyonek Services Group, Inc., an aviation maintenance service provider with numerous public and private clients including the Department of Defense and Boeing.
“This hangar is a crucial component of Tyonek’s increasing support for our Department of Defense customers,” said Steve Adlich, President, Tyonek Services Group, Inc. “We appreciate the strong partnerships we have here in Mississippi that have provided the infrastructure that allows us to expand our operations and bring more jobs to Hancock County.”
Among Tyonek’s work at Stennis, the company supports the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), a program of the U.S. Navy. NAVAIR’s international aviation programs have been leveraging the existing logistics infrastructure of Gulfport’s Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) facilities and services located aboard the Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC), as well as other existing facilities and resources in the local area to conduct various foreign military sales (FMS) support activities, and they have emerged as a prime employer in the area of FMS aircraft and aircraft systems maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services.
As a result of the partnership with the NAVAIR International, business activity has increased throughout the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Specifically, the region is now experiencing more foreign defense sales activity flowing through the state, thereby growing and diversifying the regional economy.
The activity is also contributing to Mississippi’s efforts to expand the defense industry’s presence in the state and ensuring that military assets align with the National Defense Strategy. Collectively, the close partnership fostered with the NAVAIR International aviation programs provides strategic benefits that simultaneously enhance regional economic development and strengthens U.S. International relationships and interests.
The RESTORE Hangar is among nearly 66,000 square feet of hangar space that was built or acquired at Stennis International in the past year. The hangars are part of a strategy to make Hancock County’s community airport the cornerstone of the aviation industry in Mississippi.
In fiscal year 2022, Stennis International has budgeted over $32 million in capital projects, including new hangars, apron extensions and life-cycle maintenance projects. Another 24,000 square feet of hangar space is expected by the end of next fiscal year.
“The Port and Harbor Commission continues to invest for the future of Hancock County,” said CEO Bill Cotter. “Our portfolio of hangar space allows existing tenants to expand and attracts new businesses to the area. We receive calls every week from companies looking to locate or expand here at Stennis International.”
In recent years, Hancock County has grown 230 new jobs and seen nearly $100 million in capital investment in aerospace development. Additionally, the next generation of aerospace workforce will be trained locally at Pearl River Community College’s planned $10 million workforce development center at the airport.
Located in Kiln, Stennis International is Hancock County’s community airport. It features an 8,500-foot runway rated to carry the world’s largest cargo planes. It is home to 15 aerospace companies serving both general aviation and military aircraft. The airport is covered by an onsite firefighting unit, and the FAA Air Traffic Control Tower is open daily. Million Air FBO provides amenities including a comfortable lounge, café, aircraft refueling and more. For more information, visit www.flystennis.com.
The Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission was established in 1963 to lead the county’s economic development activities. Stennis International Airport and Port Bienville Industrial Park are home to 30 companies with more than 1,000 employees. For more information visit www.portairspace.com.