Airport and city officials gathered at the new Mobile Downtown Airport today (Wednesday, May 8, 2019) to cut the ribbon on the new terminal, even as passengers were boarding a Frontier Airlines flight.
The terminal — created from a Brookley facility that Airbus is still moving out of — was repurposed and operational in just six months, said Chris Curry, president of the Mobile Airport Authority.
The quick turnaround was only possible, said Curry, because so many people and agencies worked together to make it happen — the city and county, airport staff and officials, the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Security Agency, as well as the contractors and subs who did the work.
So far, only Frontier is flying from the new facility — which is adjacent to Mobile’s aerospace complex including the Airbus final assembly line, Continental Aerospace, Mobile Aerospace Engineering and dozens upon dozens of supplier firms.
But Curry said that another airline, currently using the Regional Airport, has already inquired about using the new facility.
Local officials have wondered for years whether an airport closer to downtown and more accessible from freeways would help draw air travelers who choose Pensacola or Gulfport over the Mobile Regional Airport in far west Mobile.
For the time being, both airports will remain operational.