Renewed push to move passenger flights from west Mobile to Brookley Aeroplex downtown
MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) —
There is a renewed push to move passenger flights from West Mobile to Brookley, which is much closer to downtown.
The Mobile Airport Authority is currently shopping around, looking to hire a company by the end of this month to do a feasibility study on the idea that's been discussed for years, but hasn't seen much movement.
Lots of people in the community, along with Mayor Sandy Stimpson, believe that moving commercial flights to Brookley would give people easier access to their airport, increase ridership, and in turn possibly lower fares. Plus, Brookley isn't far from where the 1-10 Mobile River Bridge will be built, so for some, it just makes sense.
"We would increase the market by moving it to Brookley because then you would get most of the Baldwin market that wouldn't go to Pensacola," said Stimpson.
"What we are in the process of doing is hiring a professional consultant to come out and look at the feasibility of moving and relocating commercial service from the Mobile Regional Airport to downtown at Brookley. One of the main issues I've heard from people in the community is the fact that Regional is not easily accessible," said the Mobile Airport Authority's new Executive Director Chris Curry.
He says the feasibility study will examine which Gulf Coast airports locals use most and why, how much these proposed changes will cost and what infrastructure improvements are needed.
The big question is, would moving passenger service to Brookley really reduce fairs and possibly attract new carriers.
"The better you're located to your population, allows better opportunities for airlines to serve it," said Curry.
Officials want to make it clear that the proposal doesn't include abandoning Mobile Regional.
"Now you've got Brookley which is our industrial airport. Just flip and think it will stay industrial but also have passenger service but then take Regional where an industrial park can be built around the airport and you have a lot of property to do that," said the Mayor.
Curry said the Airport Authority applied through the RESTORE Act for funding, hoping BP money will cover the costs of the feasibility study and the development of a master plan for Brookley's future.