Wednesday, January 6, 2016

"What is good for Hawkins Field is good for Jackson"

Long-ignored but still standing is Hawkins Field.  The Jackson Municipal Airport Authority hired Sam Carver in September to manage the airport.  He is the first manager of the general aviation airport that has been employed since 2009.  Better days may be ahead for Hawkins Field. The new manager is whipping the airport into shape and working to  make it one of the top general aviation airports in the South. 

Hawkins Field. Top of pic is North
Mr. Carver said Hawkins Field enjoys several advantages that are the envy of many general aviation airports.  The airport has a control tower, instrument landing system (ILS),  a main runway that is 5,387 feet long, and an alternate runway.  Hawkins Field can handle G5 aircraft.  It can handle 95% of all general aviation aircraft.

A general aviation airport is not a commercial airport.  There are no airlines or scheduled passengers.  It is used by private pilots, medical transports, cargo flights, and corporations such as Entergy and Nissan. The airport has 32,000 operations a year.  Hawkins Field is home to 85 aircraft but he has a goal of 200 aircraft.  The airport has 18 corporate hangers that are leased to fixed-base operators.   Mr. Carver said Hawkins Field should be the "front door for business traffic".   He said "What is good for Hawkins Field is also good for Jackson." 

Eye candy

The main runway is in great shape but the alternate runway shows heavy use of crack of crack sealer that gives a somewhat bumpy ride as one drives down the runway.  Mr. Carver said the facilities are "a bit outdated".  The ramp had no markings when he began his tenure but that has been corrected (see picture below).   Grass grows through joints by the runways (Mr. Carver said that is not acceptable at other airports.). 

markings painted on ramp

All too common sight: grass in the runway
Mr. Carver said he has plans to improve the airport and make it a much more useful asset to Jackson.  He said "the field hasn't quite gotten the attention it needs.  The airfield and facilities are a bit outdated.  My job is to rectify that.  First, I'm focusing on operations, safety, and compliance that need to be improved such as runway markings, pavement, and condition of the runway. Before I can start selling it, I have to make it something I can sell."  He said the control tower is in good shape and Congress continued its funding for another year. 

He said he has three major goals for Hawkins Field:
1. Rehab runway #1129 (alternate runway).  The project starts soon and will cost $1.5 million.
2. Rehab the south ramp and old terminal (picture posted below) for fixed-base operators.  The cost will be $500,000. The exterior has been renovated.
3. Improve the main runway (#1634) with federal funding.  The cost will be between $2 million and $4 million.

South Terminal by Woodrow Wilson

Mr. Carver said he would seek federal funding for all three projects.  He said he would like to move the entrance to Hawkins Field near a completely renovated south terminal.  The exterior has been renovated but the interior is completely gutted.  He said it was better suited for transient travelers as they have a certain expectancy.  The building is a better location and has more potential than the current terminal.  He said "there is nothing we have on this side of the field that can be a first-class FBO."  A cafe is on the list of potential improvements for the terminal as well.  He said he has been studying top FBO airports around the country such as Meridian,

Hawkins Field has a great deal of history.  Mr. Carver said he would like to create an aviation museum at the airport one day.  He said Delta Airlines made its first-ever flight to Hawkins Field in 1929. The Dutch sent pilots to train for years at Hawkins Field.  He said such a museum will draw people.

 Sam Carver grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and has spent twenty years in the aviation industry.  He graduated from Delta State University in 1994 with a degree in airport management.  He was operations supervisor at Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport.  He was Airside Supervisor at Fort Lauderdale International Airport and then moved to the Tallahassee Regional Airport.  He also worked at the Slidell Regional Airport and Clemson airport as an airport manager.  He said he wanted to return home when the job became open.  The previous manager was Albert Beamon. He served from 2004 to 2009.  

Current terminal and control tower

The view from of Woodrow Wilson from the south terminal
More eye-candy


Anonymous said...

This guy sounds in the world were we able to get him? You mean someone actually had enough foresight to hire the best person for the job and not just give the job to their political friend? There is hope in the world after all!

Anonymous said...

Maybe once this place gets fixed up Southern Airways Express will offer more more destinations other than Destin and Memphis.

Anonymous said...

The airfield was used as a military installation during WW2. There was an area where there was a firing range. Because of this and other issues, there were some environmental issues at the location that were investigated back around 2004-2006. The file is at the MDEQ and is an interesting read.

Hope things get better out there. Maybe he can get a nice restaurant there.

Dill Bance said...

As of last Monday, Rudy WarKNOCK is available for studies. Surely he can help the city resurrect this place. If nothing else, he could suggest adding a lake to the property in case Jackson would like to attract another bass tournament.

Anonymous said...

Hawkins Field is a definite jewel for Jackson and has a lot of potential. I question though the need for a General Manager for a General Aviation facility. Can't think of any other General Aviation airport that has a manager - most operate under a Commission and with a FBO to provide services.

Yes, this new manager can point out to the Commission what evidently the previous airport executive directors chose to ignore - the needed maintenance, the need for funding to be used at Hawkins as well as at Thompson/Evers. There may be the need for a manager - but without some support this 'feel good piece' is only that. Yes, you can be impressed by being treated nice and showing all the needs. But anytime you add a staff position (which generally leads to 2, then 4, ....) you can paint good pictures. My question is - what is he going to provide that the ED couldn't, other than a focus on the facility?

Anonymous said...

Need to keep the entrance where it is (or, at least, the easy access to 220). I don't like stopping at the light in the industrial part after dark. I'm sure not going to/from Hawkins at night/early morning if I have to go down Bullard.

Anonymous said...

The place is an absolute dump.

Anonymous said...

Maybe there will be better service from the Jackson cops when more drug deliveries can be flown in. The Jackson cops that used the cop cars and uniforms to provide protection and escorts for other drug deliveries are probably already out of jail. That is if they ever went to jail in the first place.

Anonymous said...

I think Hawkins is funded indirectly by Jackson Evers. While we are at it, let's throw the Madison airport into this "regional" discussion. Either its a regional plan or not, you can't just claim one airport.

Anonymous said...

A nice airfield is the Raymond Airport. Still close enough to Jackson.

Cessna said...

Madison's airport has a general manager. But he may not have that exact title. He's a city employee, also a pilot, who is in charge of the facility 24/7.

Anonymous said...

If Madison gets reps on Jackson Evers board, then Hinds should have say so in running Madison airport. Regional strategy right?

Anonymous said...

I well remember going to meet my Father who traveled a lot...1955-59, remember seeing the Lockheed Constellation..(operated by Chicago & Southern) taxi-in...just a small low level fence @ the N. side of the terminal as one stood outside to meet the passengers as they came down the long stairs they was maneuvered-by hand to the plane door. Also, remember the Delta DC-3's operated it seems to the 1960*s.
They had a Great restaurant,too on the East side of the building. It was a great facility!

Anonymous said...

85 aircraft at Hawkins? What businesses are hangared? Are they owned by people in Clinton? Socrates must have a half dozen or so.

Prop Duster said...

Sorry 10:28. Madison is not considered a regional or international airport. It's owned by the municipality with stipulation that if it ever closes, the facility reverts to the feds. WWII military facility.

Anonymous said...

See, Jackholians! You may still have an airport after all.

Anonymous said...

I have had airplanes at Hawkins and left because the Jackson Airport Manger Vanderleest had no interest in improving or doing anything for Hawkins field. There has not been any new hangars built at Hawkins Field in over 20 years. Why? Because the price of leasing the land and that the idea that after you build the hangar , you must give it to the city in 10 years. Other airports in other states will lease you the land for 50 years and renewal for another 50 if you will build a business and/or hangar together at a reasonable rate. One airport leases the land for $1.00 per year. Jackson wanted so much a square foot ,plus taxes on the building. Why would anyone build or be there. Peachtree Dekalb Airport in Atlanta has many businesses with offices and airplane hangar combined. Hawkins could do the same. I was asked years ago to build T Hangars at Hawkins. How could I do so with excessive ground lease rates and then give the hangars to the city after 10 years. No business can afford that. So nothing gets done. At one time there were three FBO's at Hawkins. The city required all sorts of improvements and facilities to have one. Now there is one! If someone really wants to improve Hawkins Field then make ir feasible for private enterprise to thrive there.

Starita Lokes said...

This place is named after a white man. We need to rename it because of all the racism. I propose we call it The Most Glorious and Honorable Kenneth I. Stokes Deluxe Jetport and Rock, Brick & Bottle Repository, Jr.

If you don't agree, you're a dumb bastard.

Anonymous said...

You are accurate, Prop Duster, as long as you look at Bruce Campbell under its current situation. But if Harkins bill were to pass, BC - as well as any other airport in the state - could be taken over by the State. This has nothing to do with whether the airport is a 'regional' airport or an 'international' airport. Thompson/Evers is owned by the municipality just like Bruce Campbell. So Madison, hold onto your shoes - this is a power grab and right now it is just Rankin County led. But once done, it would lead to all the airports being governed and controlled by the State.

That said, I trust that cooler heads will prevail and that Jxn International, along with its little sister Hawkins, will remain Jackson airports. Hopefully, the City so-called leadership will see the need though to put better qualified individuals on the commission in charge.

Kingfish said...

I looooooooooooooooooooooooooooove Rankin County

Prayer And Faith said...

So, seem to be suggesting that we just cool our heels, keep the faith, rest easy and 'hope' that the mayor of Jackson will eventually appoint better qualified individuals.

I think that's what you just said. In fact I know it is.

Anonymous said...

Hey 4:03, if they can take Jackson Evers, they can take Madison.

Anonymous said...

1:11, love that. You must have seen the facebook check-in for the Atlanta airport, the Atlanta Hartsfield LaToya Jackson Intergalactic Spaceport and Nail Emporium. The Stokes International Jetport would have runways made of rocks and bricks.

PittPanther said...

7:17, I'm confused by your sarcasm.
Recent articles on this board have shown that both Evers and Hawkins are being managed by well qualified people. Both were put into place by the JMAA board, weren't they? So the board seems to be doing a pretty good job. Why the sarcasm?

Stokes said...

I had planned to base my new Gulfstream G550 there but didn't win the lottery like I had planned.

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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