The Mobile Airport Authority will manage the operations of the general aviation St. Elmo Airport, after reaching an agreement with the state, according to a MAA statement.
“We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Governor Kay Ivey, Mayor Sandy Stimpson, Senator Richard Shelby, our regulators at the FAA, as well as to the leadership of the Alabama Department of Transportation, including Mr. John Cooper and Dr. John Eagerton,” MAA President Chris Curry said in a statement. “We appreciate the confidence placed in MAA and pledge to the community that we will manage and we will grow this Airport to serve our community.”
The agreement is the first phase in a two-step process, which will allow the authority to acquire the airport outright, according to the statement. The second step is only awaiting approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, which should occur within the next two months.
“We look forward to the second phase being consummated very soon and appreciate the assurances from the FAA and the State of Alabama that phase-two will happen very soon,” Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson said in the statement. “The St. Elmo Airport property will be a very meaningful asset for the Mobile area in the years to come.”
As for other MAA assets, Curry said Mobile Regional Airport is beginning to see an increase in enplanements since the COVID-19 pandemic began to take hold in the country and sent passenger rates plummeting by 80 percent to 85 percent.
The Mobile Downtown Airport saw its first major commercial flight since Frontier Airlines discontinued its non-stop service to Denver. On Saturday, the discount carrier officially returned with a flight to Orlando International Airport. Although scheduled to begin April 18, the airline cancelled its previous two attempts to fly out due to low demand caused by the pandemic. Curry said the passenger load wasn’t great for the flight on Saturday, but it was encouraging.
Curry believes Frontier will continue the flight, at least, through September to take advantage of the summer months.
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