Friday, January 8, 2016

Airport CEO addresses media

Jackson Municipal Airport Authority CEO Carl Newman briefed the media on JMAA's state of affairs at a press conference Wednesday.  His remarks are posted below.  JJ took the liberty of highlighting several key passages for the readers.

Good Morning Everyone…. It’s good to be in Jackson; it’s a great day to fly with us at the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority, Mississippi’s largest passenger and air transport facility. One year ago, I accepted the charge of developing and leading this enterprise as a major contributor to Jackson’s and Mississippi’s economic engine. I’m grateful to have accepted the charge and even more excited to share with you some of our milestone accomplishments and accolades we celebrate for 2015.

Our Jackson airports play a significant role in globalization, connecting Jackson to the nation and the world. Our two airports - Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport and Hawkins Field Airport - are part of our critical infrastructure, fostering economic activities, supporting commerce and tourism and generating direct and indirect employment. Airports offer just-on-time services for manufacturing, critical business connections, and emergency response for public safety and health care. The two airports also provide a home and facility support for the Mississippi Air National Guard and the Army National Guard.

In 2014, The Mississippi Department of Transportation performed and economic impact analysis on the Mississippi airport system. The results show that our two airports alone have an $895,460,600 value to the State’s economy. Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport serves over 1 million passengers and handle almost 4.9 million pounds of cargo annually. The Mississippi Air National Guard 172d Airlift Wing and other military operations account for almost 30,000 of the 58,000 aircraft operations. Hawkins Field supports over 32,000 aircraft operations: 11,000 of those are military including the MS Army National Guard 185th Theater Aviation.

We have several highlights and points of interest to share with you this morning. Several of which are notable in the annals of our aviation industry, in addition to our city and State’s economic digests. Of note, we are most happy to report that our Airport Authority is solvent; it is fiscally sound, and it is a critical contributor to our regional economy.

•Regarding our solvency and fiscal integrity, the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority entered into an agreement with Trustmark National Bank in September 2015, to refund $25 million in airport revenue refunding bonds. This agreement translates in to a $3.7 million in net present value savings as a result of the refinancing.

•In April of 2015, Fitch Ratings, the internationally recognized ratings agency providing issuer and bond ratings research for banks, corporations, sovereigns, and other agencies, affirmed the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority’s Airport Revenues with a triple B-plus (BBB+) rating a “Stable” outlook.

The success of our economic impact is also realized through the contributions of our JMAA family and business partners. The Jackson Municipal Airport Authority and our business partners, provide employment for 1,442 persons combined at Jackson-Evers International and Hawkins Field airports. The impact to our community is seen through revenue generated by visitors and business travelers patronizing restaurants, retail outlets, and other travel related businesses in the City of Jackson.

In 2015 we recorded 48% of JMAA’s contract obligations awarded to City of Jackson based businesses, with an additional 3% awarded to other areas in Mississippi. A resounding $10.9M was awarded overall with more than $5.2 M awarded to Jackson Based Businesses.

•Another success story is the report on our Disadvantaged, Business Enterprises (DBE) program. Our 2015 federally funded projects yielded more than $1.29M or 9% of our federal dollars paid to Jackson’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprises. An additional 10% or $1.3 M was awarded to other Mississippi Disadvantaged Business Enterprises

•We successfully hosted the 2015 Airport Minority Advisory Council Southeast Regional Forum in October, with a record attendance of more than 250 participants. A nexus in attracting and connecting people, we were visited with guests from as far as Denver, Colorado and Detroit, Michigan. AMAC is the official global non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of advocacy and inclusion of minority contractors, we exceeded this year’s goal of 150 attendees by hosting 254! Direct revenues to City of Jackson Businesses were recorded at $ 15,396. A total of $44,025 was expended with Small, Minority Owned and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises here in Jackson and across the county. While conference attendees were here with us they also provide indirect economic support to our Jackson hotels, restaurants and retail outlets.

•Our most recent land development initiative with Freedom Realty, on airport property, speaks to the exponential economic impact of land development and revenue to our economy.

•Collaborations with ENTERGY Mississippi allowed us to qualify Site 211 acres of the East Metro Corridor as an “Entergy Mississippi Economic Development Qualified Site.” This means that those 211 acres are a development-ready industrial site that has completed a rigorous review process including zoning, available and planned infrastructure, land ownership reviews, environmental studies, utilities and transportation assessments. In short it is shovel ready!

•The East Metro Corridor provides essential North-South ground transportation connector between Mississippi Highway 25 (Lakeland Drive) and Interstate 20. In 2015 JMAA contributed $1M, the required local match for the federal grant funds to support the construction of Phase II of that roadway. All construction paid with JMAA funds and will be performed on JMAA property.

•In collaboration with the cities of Brandon, Flowood and Pearl, the construction of Phase II of our East Metro Corridor will grant access to 785 acres of land, owned by the JMAA, parallel to the East Runway at JAN.

Access to the 8,500 foot east runway makes our airport property a unique multi-modal environment. We have targeted these acres for aeronautical development ranging from aircraft research and development, servicing and maintenance and operations support businesses.

•The final report and recommendations for a new Concessions Program Plan is nearing completion. We engaged the services of SI Partners, a global leader in airport concessions consulting services to assess our existing program and make recommendations for new and improved offerings. The preliminary results 90% of our travelers prefer concessions with healthy options, national chains and brands and coffee. We’ve heard your comments and are responding to your interests---we will dedicate our resources and energies to improving our food and beverage choices and retail options.

•Where people are going and where they want to go demand a continual assessment of our demographics and market trends. We partnered with InterVISTAS Consulting Group, a leading management consulting company with extensive expertise in aviation, transportation and tourism for broadening our markets to and from the Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport.

We have increased our flight frequencies and services with American Air Lines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines. Delta Air Lines, our legacy air carrier at the Jackson-Evers International Airport, has dominated our increase in flight services. We know you can fly into the airport of your choice and we are working to be sure that our airports offer a variety of services.

‘Renovations and innovations’ are our mantra for developing an airport of the 21st century we can all be proud of.

•Hawkins Field Airport has been providing aviation facilities and services to the City of Jackson since 1928. In its convenient downtown location, general aviation customers have immediate access to the businesses, industries and government activity of the Jackson Metropolitan Area.

•The Historic Terminal at Hawkins Field is an aviation landmark. However renovations and upgrades to the facility are required to make it attractive for doing business. We are working hard with the City of Jackson to enhance the entrance at Sam Jones, Jr. Drive and Woodrow Wilson Drive. We have dedicated ($4M) in resources to refurbish and the Historic Terminal with the hopes of bringing it back to serve the community as both an aviation museum and active Fixed Based Operator serving the flying public.

•Resurfacing the runways will add to the value of attracting more aircraft activity to Hawkins Field. Currently Hawkins hosts a wide range of aviation customers including supplying manufacturers; public safety, search and rescue and law enforcement flights; corporate and private aircraft operations, services, and hangars; military and civilian training operations, repairs and services. Enhancing the runways will serve to increase the safety and efficiency of those operations.

Finally, our Master Plan and Strategic Plan will dictate and drive the footprint of our operations. While still in the final stages of our planning, both will be officially unveiled at our ‘2016 State of the Airport’ address in February.

We appreciate your time and interest with us in promoting Mississippi’s largest passenger and air carrier service. The realization of ‘Mississippi’s Gateway to the World’ will demand a sense of ownership and all of us working together towards securing our enterprise as a beacon in our aviation industry. Thank you for coming.


Anonymous said...

I'll save you regular posters some time:

But, but, but... he's a "Democrat"... and the City of Jackson is involved.... so crime, failure and corruption is inevitable.

Anonymous said...

That's not quite right. He's a Republican.

Anonymous said...

Glad he thinks everything is just peachy but I will still drive to New Orleans to fly because I can save 60% on ticket costs even factoring in expenses. If they want to crow about something then make it where it's affordable to the average family to fly out of Jackson. Most of the airlines servicing Jackson International occasionally offer deals it's just if you have to change the flight you better go ahead and bend over.

Anonymous said...

10:01, the earlier post is satire. He/she is making fun of the usual commenters who don't care about the facts as much as they do about trolling.

Anonymous said...

This all sounds great. But, I don't base my opinion of this place on a press conference. I base it on my actual customer experience when I fly out of Jackson.

Unfortunately, I have to fly out in a few days and am dreading having to deal with the employees and other support staff with bad attitudes and poor service. From lack of TSA-PreCheck to not enough equipment to perform de-icing in a timely manner, this place is terrible. The lack of flight options is alarming.

Anonymous said...

Correct, 10:14. 10:01 also missed that "Democrat" means black, not any particular political affiliation on JJ.

Anonymous said...

Concilman Priester commented recently Jackson International had a value of $114,ooo,ooo. How did he arrive at that value? It certainly wasn't based on net income versus value. They should take the $114M and invest it in the stock market, and let someone that knows how to run an airport take charge.

Anonymous said...

JMAA is a great little airport. I've never experienced personnel or staff problems. Everyone seems professional.

There is nothing we can do to make other airlines fly here or lower their prices. This is all market driven and is happening nationwide. I don't believe anyone really believes the state or governor can change that.

This is a smoke screen for taking over one of Jackson's few assets for development purposes.

Anonymous said...

"We successfully hosted the 2015 Airport Minority Advisory Council Southeast Regional Forum in October, with a record attendance of more than 250 participants. A nexus in attracting and connecting people, we were visited with guests from as far as Denver, Colorado and Detroit, Michigan. AMAC is the official global non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of advocacy and inclusion of minority contractors, we exceeded this year’s goal of 150 attendees by hosting 254! Direct revenues to City of Jackson Businesses were recorded at $ 15,396. A total of $44,025 was expended with Small, Minority Owned and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises here in Jackson and across the county. While conference attendees were here with us they also provide indirect economic support to our Jackson hotels, restaurants and retail outlets."

WTH!!!!! If they want the airport to continue they need to stop this absolute BS and focus on better employees, more airlines, cheaper flight costs,etc, etc....but then that doesn't meet their liberal agenda.What a joke!!!

Anonymous said...

@ 10:09.....

Cheap ticket prices are one of the problems. You crowd the hell out of infrastructure, gate capacity and the overall system with too many people.

Want a better experience?

Raise the prices of tickets. Cheap tickets create worn put planes, air traffic nightmares, overworked pilots and shitty service. Can't afford it? Stay home, or take the bus.

Anonymous said...

11:02, AMAC is an outgrowth of the Department of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program, which seeks to promote equal opportunity in federal transportation contracting. This liberal agenda program was signed into law by President Reagan in 1983.

Anonymous said...

Regionalization is just another word for "taking the power away from Stokes". It will not improve anything. Let's just grab the Airport Authority because we can, says the State of Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

The airport changed the rule of 30 minute free parking to 12 minutes. There is no way you could get your ticket , find a parking place, walk to the terminal to pick up a lost bag or meet someone to pick up in 12 minutes. So you have to pay the fee. One more reason people are dissatisfied with the way the airport is being run. Almost every airport in the country allows for 30 minute free parking. Totally unfriendly to customers.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but you left out something about AMAC (on purpose): "AMAC History
The U.S. Department of Transportation's 1980 airport Minority Business Enterprise {MBE) program regulation {49 CFR Part 23) provided the foundation. " Then, go to The Administration of Jimmy Cartr, here:

And then Google about Carter's executive actions requiring setasides and Federal Buildings in inner cities.

When you read the Google Books, you'll note close attention to Percentages of Minority Contractors at airports.

Nice try, but while Reagan was far more kind to minorities just as Bush was, this Social Engineering is yet another legacy of Obama The First, Jimmy Carter.

Carter, the gift that keeps on giving (handouts).

Anonymous said...

you can't expect low ticket prices when everyone willingly driving New Orleans / Memphis / Birmingham to catch a cheaper flight. I place a greater value on my time than what I have been presented with in the difference of cost in flying out of Jackson vs other w/in 3 hours. Customer service: Never had a problem, and I have very low expectations out of the TSA agents, and even at that, they have always been professional and accommodating (but again, I don't look to TSA agents to be great customer service providers). Free parking at a airport, HA, I don't expect that at the airport, nor do I expect them to be in the business of providing free parking.

Anonymous said...

I guess that's why Southwest's business model hasn't worked.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you've discovered Google 1:16. It's a wonderful resource. If you'd google'd something other than "airport minority 1980" or "Jimmy Cartr racist minority handout", you'd know that Nixon created the Minority Business Enterprise program prior to Carter coming into office. Carter's administration sought to continue the expansion federal contracting opportunities for minorities and women. Reagan took it a step further and enacted the DOT DBE program to codify the expansion of opportunities for minority and women owned businesses.

Finally, I'm confused -- Reagan and Bush were far more kind to minorities (handouts?), but social engineering is a legacy of Carter? You can't have it both ways.

Anonymous said...

Free parking is a part of the handout legacy of the Carter administration.

Anonymous said...

Thus proving that Republican leaders, despite DNC stereotype, do more for minorities of practical effect than Democrats. Like Earned Income Tax Credit? In other words, the GOP puts people to work, and Dems give handouts and payoffs. Thanks for taking the bait. Most folks are acutely aware of 8A contracts. Which are Federal. Try Richmond v Croson, for example. A finding: Racial quotas for awarding government contracts are not justified by general statistical evidence of inequality. The city did not investigate any race-neutral methods to correct the imbalance, nor did its 30% goal correspond to any actual measured injury. Strict scrutiny is warranted, a test which Richmond's law fails. Reagan and Bush created opportunities, not handouts or quotas. The vast difference is lost on you. "The African-American columnist Joseph Perkins has calculated that black unemployment fell from 19.5 percent in 1983 to 11.4 percent in 1989. The income of black-owned businesses rose almost one-third between 1982 and 1987. The black middle class grew from 3.6 million to 4.8 million during the Reagan years, while the cash income of black households (adjusted for inflation) rose by 12 percent. By contrast, the median income of black households fell by 2.2 percent during the Obama years from 2010 to 2013."
Read more at:

Anonymous said...

The EITC had a long history of bipartisan support. In fact, it's been expanded by every President since its enactment. But today's Republican party has lost any interest in supporting the working poor. Hell, Rubio even said he wanted to get rid of the EITC.

I'm familiar with Croson. It says that minority opportunity programs are constitutional where the government demonstrates a compelling governmental interest in remedying past discrimination. The 30% was arbitrary so it was shot down, but I'm not really seeing what this adds to your argument... The courts have continually found a compelling governmental interest in developing such programs, thus, why you are still able to complain about it to this day.

I don't have the time to go through everything African-American columnist Joseph Perkins stated but I'd note that this quote doesn't provide the relevant figures for Obama's presidency for comparison,instead presenting a time frame certainly cherry-picked to boost Reagan and then a 3 years time frame in the middle of Obama's first term certainly cherry-picked to hurt Obama. I'd be interested in seeing a true apples-to-apples comparison.

Also, I'd point you to this PolitiFact article analyzing claims that Reagan's record on unemployment was better than Obama. Some highlights:
If we instead look at Obama’s entire term to date -- January 2009 to April 2015 -- black unemployment fell from 12.7 percent to 9.6 percent. That’s down 3.1 percentage points, or a decrease of 24 percent. That’s a more impressive decline than under Reagan’s entire term.

The low point for black unemployment under Reagan was 11 percent, reached twice in 1988. The low point under Obama is 9.6 percent, which is the current rate. That’s lower than the lowest point under Reagan.

Under Reagan, black unemployment exceeded its worst level under Obama -- 16.8 percent -- for 26 consecutive months, or more than two years straight.

Anonymous said...

I fly into/out of Evers every week. It is a fine airport and the service is above and beyond other airports of similar size. If you travel enough, you know these things. Before someone complains about Southwest leaving: They left because the route wasn't profitable. In other words, they kept prices drastically low to get Jackson-area passengers to fly. That's why traffic dropped 20% when they left. Those flying SWA would not have flown otherwise. Also, complaining that you can't fly Southwest is like complaining that you can no longer get a McRib.

You People Just Wrong said...

I fly into/out of Evers every week. It is a fine airport and the service is above and beyond other airports of similar size.

Reminds me of a personal friend who the other day said, "The roads and streets in Jackson are representative of others throughout the region".

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS