Monday, February 15, 2016

Tupelo Regional Airport (KTUP) gets ready for a party

TUPELO, Miss (WTVA) -- There was a lot of talk at the Tupelo Airport Authority's last meeting about a party.

A party involving Corporate Flight Management, the Smyrna Tennessee-based company to start flying planes out of Tupelo and the Tupelo Regional Airport.

The question is who's paying for the party?

"We're going to be paying for the party. The airport. And it stands a good chance of being reimbursed through government funds," said Tupelo Airport Authority Board member Jim Newman.

Newman says right now the Tupelo Airport Director Cliff Nash says there's about $4500 that they can tap into to help pay for the event.

 But some board members still had some questions.

"The question from some of the Board members was is the airlines going to participate in the cost of this welcoming party. We do have some available funds," said Nash.

Those funds he says are leftovers from air service grants.

Nash says he needs permission from the agencies that issued to grants before the money can be spent.

But he says Corporate Flight Management will play a part .

"The airline, they may not play a part in the beverages or snacks but just bringing the airplane here, the cost of fuel , the crew in itself is helping to fund the party," he continued.

Board members say they are asking CFM to help pay for the party.

"While we assume that they're flying an airplane down here and bringing the staff and other stuff to come to the party, and that is an expense on their part which we thoroughly understand, we wanted to go ahead and approve it so that we don’t come up to the last minute and try to hurry around and not do a very good job of the welcoming," said Newman.

Newman says the Federal Aviation Administration rules have slowed up the arrival of CFM.

"So it’s progressing. The reservationists are all down in Florida being trained. Pilots have been hired. There's an awful lot that goes into getting an airline started," Newman continued.

Newman went on to say that given the Tupelo Airport's experience with its last two carriers, it’s better to put the airline start-up off for a week or two in order to make sure everything goes well.

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