MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — From when it opened in May, to September, the Mobile Downtown Airport has had almost 29,000 people go through its temporary terminal .
The airport needs Airbus to take flight from the other half of the terminal before it can begin expanding. In March, News 5 was told Airbus would be out ‘sometime late Summer,’ but they’re still in the other half of the terminal.
Airport Authority President Chris Curry said, “We can’t divulge who those conversations are with, but we’re consistently trying to recruit new air service to more destinations.” Well, we may not know what airline will come next to Mobile’s Downtown Airport, but we’re now hearing when that all may start happening and it starts with Airbus.
Curry said, “We expect them to vacate the facility by the end of the year.”
Once Airbus is out, Curry says the Airport Authority board will consider expanding into the 28,000 square feet side Airbus is on.
Curry said, “Which would give us 50,000 square feet of terminal space. Two additional gates, and more hold room area than what we have right now”
Curry says the airport already has that half of the temporary terminal designed, so it will not take long to build out. He adds, airlines are starting on their Spring routes, and the timelines may match up perfectly.
Curry said, “We would in essence be ready for expansion opportunities if they’re presented around the spring of next year.”
Speaking of expansion, Curry says the airport is ready for that too. Curry said, “I think we’ve been very public about our interest in the foundation property and perhaps a new developer that may buy the property.”
He’s talking about the University of South Alabama Foundation Property. The airport finalized buying it in April of this year. There may not be official plans, but there are renderings by the foundation for Brookley by the Bay. Curry said, “We would be interested in working with that group to expand the footprint of the airport, and if there’s any other large contiguous areas of property that we feel would be of benefit, we would be interested in those as well.”