Desoto County News

Olive Branch Airport celebrates National Aviation Day

Saturday, Aug. 19 is National Aviation Day, highlighting the impact of aircraft as an important means of transportation. 

In DeSoto County, the Olive Branch Airport remains one of the busiest facilities of its type in the state of Mississippi. Owned by the City of Olive Branch, the airport, in terms of total take-offs and landings, recently surpassed over 10,000 total operations per month.

The airport also supports the local economy as it helps bring new business to the area. The airport is often a Mid-South destination for the corporate industry and their clients.  Local restaurants, hotels, and rental car agencies all benefit from the airport.  

Traveling customers often visit local attractions, attend sporting or related events.  An example of this was the recently completed FedEx St. Jude Golf Classic that took place last week.  The airport was extremely busy with several participants, family members, and fans all transiting the airport.  

The three flight schools located on the airport are a key factor for training the future pilots.  Many of the student pilots go on to have very successful careers in the aviation industry with several moving on to fly for various commercial, cargo, and military operations. 

The airport also has an on-site maintenance and avionics operation.  This operation helps to keep aircraft operational and also provides training for opportunities for individuals interested in learning maintenance and avionics careers.  

The following information about the airport was made available by the City of Olive Branch:

  1. Three Flight Schools that operate at the airport and these operations are growing, continuing to add both students and aircraft.
  2. One of these flight schools has entered into a ground lease with the City to build their own large aircraft hangar/office area on airport property.
  3. The other two flight schools are currently leasing hangar space from the City.
  4. The City has recently entered into agreements supporting several ground leases to build large aircraft hangars.  These builds are either underway or will soon be.  Additional ground lease hangar builds are anticipated in the coming months.
  5. The City of Olive Branch recently received a $1.5M grant to build our own hangar.  Construction on this hangar is anticipated to begin sometime in 2024.

The Airport has been awarded several grants to improve the overall infrastructure at the airport.  Some of these recently completed and soon to be completed projects include;

  1. Grant used to improve several City owned T-Hangar doors, floors and locks.
  2. Grants have been approved and are being sought to improve and overlay the apron areas.
  3. A grant has been secured to install new LED Runway/Taxiway LED lights.  New and modern Airfield signs are also scheduled to installed as a part of this project.
  4. A new runway overlay was recently completed late calendar year 2022
  5. Improvements were recently completed at the terminal building.  Some of these improvements included an updated pilots lounge and various aesthetic improvements.
  6. A Grant was secured to install a new self-serve Aviation fuel station.  This is expected to be in operation late in the calendar year 2023.
  7. New exterior LED airport signage is anticipated to be installed in calendar year 2024

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