Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Harkins files bill to create new board for Jackson airport

Let's get ready to ruuuuummmble over the Jackson airport.  State Senator Josh Harkins (R-Gold Coast) submitted his bill to create a new governing board for the Jackson municipal airport.  This is one fight that will get nasty and vicious as Jackson fights any attempts to change how the airport operates. There will be casualties.  Medics will be in short supply.  Most bourbon will be consumed. Kenneth Stokes may die of dehydration.

The bill replaces the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority with a Metropolitan Airport Authority to manage the Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport and Hawkins Field on July 1, 2016.  A nine-member board of commissioners will oversee the operation of the two airports.  The new board of commissioners will be comprised of the following members::


  1. Mayor of Jackson appoints a member for one year
  2. Jackson City Council nominates three persons for a term of two years.  The Governor selects a commissioner from the three nominations. 
  3. Madison County Board of Supervisors nominates three persons. The Governor appoints one of the nominees to the board for a term of three years. 
  4.  The Adjutant General of the Mississippi National Guard or his designee
  5. The Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority or his designee. 
  6. Rankin County Board of Supervisors nominate three persons for consideration by the Governor.  The Governor appoints one to a term of four years. 
  7. The Governor appoints two commissioners to a term of five years.  One must hold a valid pilot's license or certification issued by the FAA.  
  8. The Lieutenant Governor appoints one commissioner to a five-year term. 
The bill also requires a minimum level of qualifications to the board of commissioners. Get ready.  No more DJ's or Preachers as the commissioners better know how to fly or read a balance sheet. The qualifications are:

  • 10 years experience as a CPA
  • Business owners with at least 10 years experience in executive management
  • 10 years experience in economic development. 
  • 10 years experience in commercial or aviation law. Commercial law will include construction law. 
  • Possession of a pilot's license or FAA certification for 10 years. 
  • 10 years of experience in public financing transactions. 
  • Possession of a Professional Engineering license for 10 years

 The commissioners shall serve terms of five years after the initial terms expire.

The bill  transfers all assets to the Jackson Metropolitan Airport Authority.  The bill is posted below. 


Anonymous said...

none of this matters if the prices to fly out of jackson continue to rise. i'm flying three times in the next six months-only one of the three is out of jackson. once from new orleans and once from memphis..

Anonymous said...

Who cares about your itinerary, 5:00. Get on board here or take a cab.

Anonymous said...

Gonna need a carve out for lawyers that just graduated from law school or it'll never get signed into law.

Anonymous said...

Doe Doe at 5:00. This isn't about YOU.

Anonymous said...

will never pass

Anonymous said...

Rankin > Madison > Jackson? At least have the terms be of equal length.

Anonymous said...

And why would Madison want any part in this? Answer....they don't

Anonymous said...

Hinds has several times the population of Madison but no nominees? I'd rather Hinds have some say so than just Jackson.

Anonymous said...

Wager @8:10 PM?

Anonymous said...

if this were to be voted in, it would have no bearing on pricing of flights. As long as people are willing to drive 3 hours to save $ 115.00 on a seat, then tickets from Jackson will be what they are. If we don't use it regularly, you can't expect it to be cost effective w/ lessened traffic, or do you expect the government to subsidize your ticket?

All of the rest just appears to be a set up for more cronyism and political favor, and I don't really see where it creates a stable environment at a "board" level. And really, I think we have enough already to thank the MDA for, do we really need to let them set a board member?

I do like how qualifications are spelled out, but I don't think these are correct in their current form. It would seem that they have been drafted to insure that certain people have access to be appointed.

Anonymous said...

Save $115? More like save over $200 or more per RT. Can get to MSY in 2 1/2 hours, easy. You must also think this Obamanomics economy is going gangbusters.

Anonymous said...

9:04, give me a break. How could you say it is drafted to ensure certain people get on the board? Who then? Yeah it is intended to get certain people- people that have business sense! Not a preacher, principal, and a DJ. Good lord why is a DJ on the board? Why do they have her play some music in the concourse?

I think it it is a good start. Hell people, it can't get worse!

Anonymous said...

Since the airport is part of Jackson can Jackson's criminals flee to the airport to avoid capture?

Anonymous said...

The DJ helps the venture qualify for the tourism MDA tax grant. If the entity plays Mississippi music, it is rolling in the dough. See Mattaice et al.

Anonymous said...

9:37 not qualified to make comments.

Anonymous said...

STOP with your calling this draft unfair!!!! It is drafted this way for reason and that reason is to make sure NO one get appointed for political favors and also to make sure that person is qualified. It makes NO mention of one's race religion or gender. Its your liberal ideology that points to race as your trying to elude to. Get with the program you race baiter.

Anonymous said...

SORRY I'M LATE.....I had to get popcorn.

Anonymous said...

Jackson to New Orleans, round trip, is roughly 400 miles (Memphis is roughly the same). Mileage reimbursement rates are $.54 a mile. If you only make minimum wage, your time is worth $7.25 an hour. If you're spending 5-6 hours in your car and driving 400 miles to save $200, you're an idiot.

Anonymous said...

This airport has been a cash cow for years and was never run efficiently. In fact, the "incompetent" board has somehow managed to hire the best management it's probably ever had. Airports in mid-size cities all over the country have lately had a problem keeping up with the airlines, but airports still tend to make big money for lawfirms, contractors, etc whether they have major traffic or not. I'm expecting the power-grabbers to make the argument that the airport is not safe. After all it is part of Jackson, so unless we can get some of the responsible (spelled w-h-i-t-e) leaders back in charge all that money going to those black lawfirms, and contractors is going to finance carjacking, robbery, rape, and the Stokes campaign. Good Lord!

Serious Question Here said...

We've read a lot on here about the fact that the airport does not belong to the state and doesn't sit on state property. From a legal standpoint, then, what right does this proposal have to become law? What right does the government have to seize a business owned by a municipality?

Can someone provide a sensible answer from a strictly legal perspective?

Would this not be like the legislature deciding to seize and operate Jackson's Amtrak station?

Anonymous said...

Can someone provide a sensible answer from a strictly legal perspective?

Since you can't answer the question how will you know whether or not you've received a sensible answer?

Get a clue. If the lift was impossible the bill would never have been filed.

Good luck with your fishing expedition.

Kingfish said...

4:34: The board hired a recruiting firm that was well-known and specialized in aviation industry, not merely a firm that recruited in thirty industries and one of them just happened to be aviation.

The commissioners wanted to stick their fingers into that cookie jar and create a committee to oversee the recruiting. The headhunters told them that if they did so, they would be subject to open meetings and public records laws. Very shrewd. It also killed any interest they had to meddle too much.

Anonymous said...

@10:59, you are gullible if you thing the Governor, now or ever, does not make political appointments. As previously stated on another thread, the "Preacher" (which he is) is also an attorney. This is a money grab -- anything to take power from Jackson. Naturally, appointments this or any Governor makes would be better than anyone Jackson might choose.

Anonymous said...

7:02, you need to get a clue. No legislature, especially this one, has ever passed a law that was unconstitutional or unenforceable?

Anonymous said...


Recently sent 3 employees to conference in Seattle.
They flew out New Orleans on Southwest.
All 3 went down 1 company car.
Salaried employees getting paid anyway.
Saved $283 per ticket versus flying Jackson.
Even after outdoor parking @ $11 per 4 days and $25 fuel saved $780.

In real world when I use travel budget efficiently able to cover more
travel for department and make more money for company.
Sorry to burst your apologist bubble.

Anonymous said...

Wager @8:10 PM? Wager @8:29 AM?

Y'all better go talk to Johnny Horhn. Deal has been cut.

Anonymous said...

Naturally, appointments this or any Governor makes would be better than anyone Jackson might choose.

That is correct.

Kingfish said...

You sure about that? Given his track record of appointments at DPS and MHP?

As for the pastor, when I use that term, I am referring to Stallworth.

Anonymous said...

This will get through both House and Senate and the Gov. will sign it.

Anonymous said...

If this gets through the Legislature (I say "if" because passage would set a terrifying precedence for municipalities with "regional" assets) it will be stuck in litigation for years. At the end, none of it will matter if the FAA won't issue the new board an operator's license.

Out of the chaos will arise . . . rich lawyers.

Kingfish said...

Here is one that didn't make the cut due to one sentence.

3:52, xxxx xxxx xxxx. The airport is in Kenner which is 140 miles from here so its more like 280 miles round trip...about 5 hours driving round trip. From NOLA you can fly direct to most places you need to go so you save more than 5 hours in layovers or missed flights through Atlanta. But you keep thinking you are the bright one Bubba

It is two hours to Hammond. Then another 20 minutes or so to Kenner, assuming you get off at 310.

Not a Yarbor fan, but.. said...

The current JMAA board was not appointed by Hizzoner - something KF has reminded us of on a couple of occasions. This crew of five all were given to us by Labumba when Harvey left office without taking care of making appointments as they became vacant.

Yarbor is not likely to do a great job, but would certainly be better than CL did. Trouble is - Harkins' bill or not - the airport and its management belongs to the City of Jackson. It is not a regional airport, was not created as one and the current legislature cannot change that by this bill. If it could I would suggest that the folks in Meridian, Gulfport, Tupelo all get ready to hand over their airports as well. (Golden Triangle is a regional airport, but I would assume that the Gov would start making the appointments there soon since regional airports are the province of the state under the thinking of the Senator from Rankin.)

Anonymous said...

Political power grab. I wonder if Bryant's daughter, just out of law school, will get the legal contract or have an interest in it? corrupt just like Madison County.

Anonymous said...

Even today with all we have been shown about politicians there are still some who do not think their favorite politician is a crook.
We need to remove these people from the voting pool.

Anonymous said...

...and the current legislature cannot change that by this bill.

Yes they can.

Anonymous said...

Mississippi Business Journal rips Yarber

So Jackson City Hall paid for the terminal, the runways and the roads leading to the airport?

Not hardly.

But what about airport revenues being in the black?

Have you priced tickets out there lately or parked your car there? Airport bean counters have relied on steady increases in carrier landing fees and parking charges – not new business or belt tightening — to erase the red ink.

That Yarber is speaking at all on the airport control proposal is encouraging. We thought the mayor had decided to do with this issue what he long ago decided to do with Jackson’s Farish Street redevelopment: park it out back.

The public heard not a peep from Yarber in the 45 days that followed the announcement of Sen. Harkins’ legislation. The guess is that it took some prodding from his handlers to get him to speak at all.

"No true representation that considers population" Yarber? Do the math. Surely a former school principal can do the math. If you did the math Yarber you'd realize you've just undermined your argument.

Anonymous said...

@4:03. Guess you are correct, legislature can change it but it will not survive a challenge once their bill gets into the judicial system.

Anonymous said...

Yes. Jackson did pay for the terminal and the runways. They did not pay for the highways, but that's not part of the airport. Any more than Harkins' office building on Lakeland paid for Lakeland Drive/Highway 25.

The revenues of the airport have nothing to do with ticket prices. Those prices go to Delta, Continental, etc. Guess you don't have any idea of how airports or airlines work, but we will forgive you for your ignorance this time. But how about learning a little basic business and economics before you waste your time away from the fryer before you come back.

Anonymous said...

5:42- This entire effort is based on a lack of knowledge as to how airports and airlines work. That, or these "Republicans" believe they can overcome economic realities.

Anonymous said...

Wager @5:11 PM?

Anonymous said...

I don't know about 5:11, but I'll take it. Assume you mean that the bill will pass and the new board will take over.

Name your bet. I'm in.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should check out Kangfish previous post and you will be educated on the investment from the National Guard in the construction of the airport. Oh wait that does not fit the narrative. Sorry.

That airport has been stagnant and needs to be shaken up.

Anonymous said...

The National Guard paid for the National Guard's facilities at the airport. I did check out the post, and read all the background information.

You might not be aware, but the MS National Guard has a large facility located on the north end of the airport. It cost money to build it (and has been expanded since.) The National Guard paid for that - it did not pay for the terminal, the general or commercial aviation parking ramps, the parking lots, the baggage handling, etc.

So - maybe you should check your facts to make sure your narrative fits the facts.

The airport is no more 'stagnant' than many small market airports. You want to make it more active - add several hundred thousand residents in the area and make it a hub. In the meantime, it will be like the airport in Shreveport, Baton Rouge, Birmingham, etc. It will not be like the airport in NOLA, ATL, or DFW.

By the way, check out the non-activity in Memphis now that Northwest has pulled out of there as a hub. Other than FedEx, there is little traffic thru that facility, and Memphis metro is five times the population of Jackson metro area.

Anonymous said...

Southwest flys Birmingham. Fairly extensive schedule. Try again.

Anonymous said...

Yes. SW does fly Birmingham. But the airport is still struggling like many others. SW does not make or break an airport's operation - realize it is the measuring point for Harkins' thinking but there is a lot more to be considered.

But Birmingham city has a population that is three times the entire Jackson Metro population. And it still doesn't have direct flights except for the SW to Houston or BWI. I stand by the statement that for smaller metro areas that therefore aren't hubs, under the current airline scheme these airports are not going to be the operation we would like to have.

Say again - look at the change to Memphis once it quit being a hub for NW. Changed its entire business model and useage.

Anonymous said...

The presence of Southwest in an airport lowers all prices on all airlines on comparable route city pairs. PERIOD.

But go ahead with your misdirection charade. It is amusing.

Anonymous said...

I don't disagree 6:59. But Southwest decides which airports Southwest wants to service. The airports can't make Southwest or any other airline provide service through their systems.

But Southwest only lowers fares on the competing routes - i.e. when in Jackson and SW served BWI, the Delta fare to DC was lower. But that did not lower Delta's fares to Atlanta, Cincinnati, etc.

I wish SW was here. MDA was largely responsible for their coming several years ago; not the airport administration. If there was adequate traffic, Southwest would still be here - but there is not adequate traffic with our population base combined with the circlejerk of folks that drive to NOLA or MEM to get lower fares. Don't blame those folks, but that keeps passenger loadings down and therefore fares high. To get lower fares, those passengers need to load here but don't because of the high fares. I know there is a term for this neverending process but to keep it simple for all those that believe the crap that spews from Harkins' mouth that this is all about getting SW back and getting lower fares - who 'administers' the airport will not change the airlines' business decisions.

Anonymous said...

@5:57 - where are you? Buehler?? Buehler? ....

nothing but crickets. Guess he really didn't want to make that wager.

Anonymous said...

Guess he really didn't want to make that wager.

Nope. Kingfish doesn't want to be the clearing house for the wager.

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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