Sunday, January 24, 2016

Why Jackson built a new airport.

A 1958 report presents the challenges Jackson faced in the late 1950s, as community leaders debated whether to build a new airport.  JJ spent some time digging around in old records and will post some tidbits over the next few days so readers have a better idea of how the airport was created.  The report posted below states the Mississippi Air National Guard threatened to move out of Jackson to Meridian, as Hawkins Field could not handle the newer jet aircraft.  The rollout of new commercial jet aircraft such as the Boeing 707 meant Mississippi was facing being left out of the jet age, as there were no airports in Mississippi capable of handling such aircraft.  Some highlights of the report are:

*Mississippi Air National Guard  told Jackson in 1956 it would finance the construction of the new MSANG facilities and runway at the Rankin County site.  The cost was estimated to be $3.8 million (multiply the dollar amounts from then by a factor of ten to get a rough idea of what it would cost today.).   However, the MSANG notified Jackson it could only spend $2.7 million.

*Jackson purchased all the land for the airport.

* "An 8,000 foot runway and taxiway is considered to essential to accommodate not only the new jet aircraft of the National Guard but to make the facility capable of handling any of the new commercial type jet aircraft such as the Boeing 707, Douglas DC-8, and Convair 880.... Hawkins Field cannot even handle the Douglas DC-7 airplane now in use by Delta Airlines and which Delta would now use in Jackson if Hawkins Field would accommodate them."

* The cost for states one and two (p.2) were estimated to be $6.3 million.  The MSANG was projected to pay $2.7 million.  The Civil Aeronautics Authority (Forerunner to FAA) would pay another $1.5 million and Jackson would pay the remainder at $2.1 million.

* Jackson estimated a revenue bond issue to pay for its share of the construction to be $1.5 million at 4% interest for a period of 25 years.

* Construction was estimated to take two years.   Closing Hawkins Field was considered.  However, the report warns doing so would cost $41,250 in annual income and $16,250 in annual operating revenue.

*Jackson purchased 36 parcels of land (2,106 acres) at a cost of $384,908 for the airport (See page 7 for the list of properties and sellers.  One line is interesting.). 

Kingfish note: JJ will post some of the site selection records tomorrow.   Should the MSANG have a representative on the JMAA board of commissioners? It did pay for part of the construction of the airport.




45 comments:

Anonymous said...

The City of Jackson has a board who have absolutely no experience in running an airport. It only makes sense for the State to gain control. The leaders of Jackson, if you can refer to them as that, cannot even run the city properly. A pastor on the board? Please, get this out of the hands of common unknowledgable people and get this are picked up like it was intended. We need more carriers and at least change the name to a "Regional Airport" with NO personal names involved.

Kingfish said...

Henley is a CPA and Banktruptcy trustee. He is a lawyer. Second in class and hired by Butler Snow for his first job after law school. He just happens to be a pastor. Could serve on most airport authority boards regardless of criteria.

Anonymous said...

You want that bunch that has been running Madison County involved in running the airport? They wanted to build their own so that a few could make bundles on Rudy's folloy. Granted, they changed their leadership this year (partly) but their history isn't any better than what you point fingers at about Jackson.

Rankin County's control over the big lake led to the state changing the control so that it wasn't dominated by their 'leadership'. And the fine way they have run their school board doesn't make one feel good about their influence either.

Face it. Government appointments to boards and commissions oftentimes doesn't lead to the best and brightest - but its not always all bad. The boards and commissions are not the measuring tool - its the people that are hired to run things full time. JMAA has been run fairly well over the past several years, despite the board members that were stacked by Mayor Lubumba.

Anonymous said...

Let's hire Rudi to prepare a study on who should control the airport. For a meager 1.2 Million he can reproduce a previous study while still spreading the wealth around. Both Socraties and IMS would get a cut, making everyone fat!

Anonymous said...

1:05 doesn't like power in the hands of "common people". I assume you mean the power should be in the hands of Josh Gregory or Butler Snow.

Anonymous said...

3:20 - only way that Trey can get bond work from the city. Everybody (important) can win!

Anonymous said...

Whoever believes it is right to remove the airport from Jackson's Control is seeking to direct all bond fees to their own pockets. Getting more and better service is only the cover for what they want to do. Always follow the money.

Anonymous said...

I think Harkins thought everybody would jump on the anti-Jackson bandwagon, but sentiment seems to be against this short sighted concoction. Madison is not interested in a regional board and the rest of the state is tired of being ruled by Rankin county.

And regular people say "whats wrong is wrong".

Anonymous said...

JMAA has been run fairly well over the past several years, despite the board members that were stacked by Mayor Lubumba.

"Fairly well". WOW, what a staggering lukewarm endorsement.

Anonymous said...

I'm the 1:05 commenter and the point I'm trying to make is we do not need anyone from Jackson running the airport. It's time to put a stop to the way the current and recent past leadership has run the city into the ground. Hell, you can't drink the water and you can't hire a damn high school graduate that can read at a 3rd grade level! get Jackson completely out of the picture, now!

Orville Wright said...

I hate to interrupt the Butler Snow argument and all the experts opining about airport management. The original post is educational and interesting. This was way back when decisions were made by professionals and had nothing to do with race and little, if anything, to do with politics. What had to be done, was done. Politics and racism aside ~ Imagine this area without an international airport.

Kingfish said...

In all fairness, we haven't actually seen the bill yet so we don't know what is in it. There are a lot of discussions going on behind the scenes.

Anonymous said...

James Henley is brilliant and talented man. If we had a board with people possessing his talents, it would be rival any airport board in America. I think his also being an ordained pastor, just adds to his qualifications. Ok, in case anybody wants to know, I am a fourth generation white, native Jacksonian. Yes, a lawyer, also.

Anonymous said...

Two quick thoughts.

6:04 - OK. We will concede that JPS doesn't produce a good percentage of quality graduates. Don't agree that you can't drink the water (I've been doing it for years and find nothing wrong with it) but agree that the infrastructure including water lines are old, degraded and Jackson is incapable of managing its water, sewer and road infrastructure.

But do not agree that they are not operating the airport properly. Compared to other airports, and I have seen many, the management of JMAA is not bad. (I have not found any airport management where I think they are doing a jambup good job because they all frustrate me in many ways.)

So - bitch about the school system. Bitch about the water and sewer. But that does not mean that they cannot operate the airport properly. And just because Rankin Countians want to make the profits and do the business related to the airport doesn't mean that they can just say they want it and try to bully their way through it.

Orville Wright - appreciate your thoughts, but have to disagree absolutely with one comment - that "decisions had nothing to do with race and little to do with politics". Obviously you didn't live through the 50s and 60s. Everything had to do with race, and most everything had to do with politics. Granted,they made many decisions such as the one to build the new airport for good reasons at the time. Not sure that it was really by 'professionals' but at least it had some professional input into it which would be nice to have now. (It appears that neither side of the current airport argument has any professional input into it, and particularly Harkins' attempt to take care of his and his buddies' business.) But I will guarandamntee you that decisions during those time were made considering race.

Devine1816 said...

I think his also being an ordained pastor, just adds to his qualifications.

Detail for us how his status as a pastor "just adds to his qualifications" to guide the airport. Since you are a lawyer, you should have no problem being specific.

Ok, in case anybody wants to know, I am a fourth generation white, native Jacksonian. Yes, a lawyer, also.

That, 4th Gen White Jackson Lawyer, is an Appeal to Authority. Which is an argumentation fallacy.

But go ahead and answer the first question since you've set yourself up here, anonymously, as someone the JJ readership should listen to and consider.

ROFLMAO

Goodbye JMAA said...

Compared to other airports, and I have seen many, the management of JMAA is not bad.

Another ringing endorsement. You make conclusions on airport management simply by passing through? That is RICH.

But that does not mean that they cannot operate the airport properly.

But it also doesn't mean they can, or are. The lengths the JMAA has gone to obscure their actions appears to be merely SOP and completely acceptable to a seasoned airport observer such as yourself.

And just because Rankin Countians want to make the profits and do the business related to the airport doesn't mean that they can just say they want it and try to bully their way through it.

When you run the show, and the Legislature, then yes they can "bully their way through" anything. How can someone so astute as yourself not pick up on that political reality?

Anonymous said...

No. I fly my airplanes using them. I am an occasional passenger on commercial and charter flights as well. What is your basis for your analysis? How many airports have you managed? How many have you even been in for anything other than cleaning their toilets?

And last time I checked, there are some folks involved in 'running the show' that are not from Rankin County.

We will watch and see if your moniker does come thru. I'm betting against it, because many of the folks that do 'run the show' aren't going to fall for this money grab by a few.

Anonymous said...

How many airports have you managed?

How many airports have you managed?

Anonymous said...

Genuinely interesting post, KF. Thanks for the legwork.

Anonymous said...

for all you James Henley fans, the location of his office says it all..he knows where his bread is buttered

Kingfish said...

He has voted for every claims docket that includes the attorneys fees. Every one of them and he knows better than the rest of the board.

Orville Wright said...

6:27 - When you get a minute, can you let us know what the development of the airport had to do with race? Or for that matter, politics? Although the era was a turbulent time, race-wise, I'm not aware of race being a factor in the concept and fruition of the airport. Please help.

Anonymous said...

Forget about all the back and forth... Should the airport be regionalized? It is a very interesting question and one the I would like to see the few serious minded residents of this blog answer. And if not why? Thanks Fish. Excellent research as usual.

Anonymous said...

James Henley is a racist POS. Politicized his faith for financial gain. Absolute sack.

Back to the post at hand.

The Jackson airport was supposed to be built between Jackson and Vicksburg back in the day.

Vicksburg leaders squabbled over details and it wound up in Rankin County.

That decision altered economic life for lots of folks.

Anonymous said...

300 acres owned by Ross Barnett. Yes, nothing to do with race or politics. Honestly, do people check out of school in the second grade and then start posting on the interweb?

Anonymous said...

I think its ironic that the City of Jackson is fighting to keep land once owned by Ross Barnett.

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain why Jackson is an international airport?

Anonymous said...

No one has explained how a new board would operate the airport differently. No one has explained how a new board would convince other airlines that Jackson is a profitable route. This simply does not appear to be an effort in good faith.

There's also an interesting legal conundrum: How does the property, buildings, and money remain in the hands of the City of Jackson, while Jackson would have no control? If this passes, other municipalities should be worried for their assets.

Also, all of this started because a Senator got upset over an airfare.

Anonymous said...

because you can fly to other countries from there?

Anonymous said...

Maybe it would be possible for a Legislative bill to require certain people with certain backgrounds be on the Board.

However, this would not satisfy those that want to take over the airport so their cronies can get the contracts.

If state takes it over, they should pay Jackson the value of the airport.

Anonymous said...

10;55. Are you sure about that? I have never seen any flights to go to a foreign country. All require connections in other cities. Also, there is not a customs office there.

Anonymous said...

JIA is an international airport because flights from other countries can fly directly into Jackson. In order to do this, the airport must have a customs office. And yes, 11:45, there is a customs office as part of JIA.

The flights don't have to be commercial, people carriers. They can be freight or cargo flights. Or private charters. It is correct that there are no commercial passenger flights, but that does not mean that there are no international flights in/out of JIA.

Anonymous said...

What foreign countries do planes leave Jackson and fly directly to?

Grasping At Straws You Are said...

Prove Ross Barnett owned the property the airport sits on. Next you'll claim he owned the land where the Burwell's Reservoir is located.

Aileron said...

An airport does not have to have inbound and outbound international flights in order to be designated as an international airport. It only has to qualify as meeting the requirements.

"In the early 1990s, the airfield's name became "Jackson International Airport" since it has facilities for international flights (of which it has none scheduled). The airport has an office for U.S. Customs to service international arrivals and has established a Foreign Trade Zone." {wikipedia}

Anonymous said...

1:04 - read the damn post. It has an attachment listing the properties proposed to be purchased for the airport. Agree it doesn't mean that every one of those properties were actually purchased, since this was at the beginning of the process, but there is at least evidence that Barnett owned property in the area that was proposed to be purchased.

And besides, in the immortal words of our former SOS "What difference does it make now!!"

Kingfish said...

When I get around to posting other documents and the minutes, you will see they purchased the land for said price from Ross.

Anonymous said...

Bryant said on MSGOP radio this morning that he'll sign the legislation to take over the airport the very minute it lands on his desk. Elections have consequences. It.is.a.done.deal.

Anonymous said...

January 25, 2016 at 5:35 PM, Bryant signing a legislation might be a given, but the ultimate result is up in the air. Read this article regarding the attempted takeover of the Charlotte airport.

Just like the current proposed legislation, the NC legislature attempted to create a commission to take control from a city council which owned the airport. We have a federal supremacy clause in our Constitution, and this decision will ultimately be settled by the FAA. In Charlotte, at one point the FAA was saying that it wouldn't grant the state commission an operating certificate unless the city requested that.

Harkins and company are about to make a whole lot of lawyers even richer in what is likely a losing battle for the state. I wouldn't hold my breath on the FAA operating certificate being transferred from the City to the State.

Kingfish said...

Keep in mind that the bill has not yet dropped. We don't know what is in it. I'm told that they studied Charlotte very thoroughly and were determined to avoid the mistakes they made in NC.

Anonymous said...

I seem to remember of plethora of comments here at JJ -- like that of @9:04 AM -- to the effect that the Obamaoists in the Federal government would never, never, allow Mississippi to require VoterID at the polls. How'd that work out @9:04 AM?

Johnny Horhn tipped off this morning that an accommodation on the composition of the airport board is in the works. The deal is nearly done. Goodbye JMAA.

Kingfish said...

There is negotiation going on behind the scenes. I think there will be serious opposition to the governor appointing all board members so I think that part of the bill will change.

Question: Should the Adj. Gen. be allowed to appoint someone to the board? The MSANG provides the fire service and it did chip in substantially on building the airport.

Anonymous said...

The 172d Wing Commander should be a non-voting member of the board.

Anonymous said...

A non voting member of any board is a waste of space. What is one good for anyway?

mbrookes said...

I don't fly frequently, but I have noticed one thing. Jackson is the only airport I have used that always has fresh flowers in the ladies' rooms. What ever else they do, let's keep that nice touch.

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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).


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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.

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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!!!

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