GTRA temporary home to CAFB aircraft

Some of the T-A Jayhawk trainer aircraft at GTRA.
DTL Staff
Staff Writer

A busy Golden Triangle Regional Airport is a little busier. And that doesn’t even account for the additional daily Delta Airlines flight that begins June 8.

The airport, the third-busiest commercial facility in the state, now is the temporary home to more than two dozen Air Force T-1 Jayhawk trainer aircraft from nearby Columbus Air Force Base. The T-1s are operating out of GTRA while one of the three runways at the Air Force base is closed for construction.

“We’re glad we could partner with the Air Force and give them the opportunity to keep their training tempo up during the construction at the base,” said GTRA Executive Director Mike Hainsey. “The worldwide pilot shortage is hitting the Air Force especially hard so they need to keep their pilot training on schedule.”

The Air Force flights at GTRA are planned through November, but Hainsey does not expect any major impact on overall airport operations.

“We have the infrastructure and people in place to handle all of our partners, including the Air Force.,” Hainsey observed, noting the additional daily flight from Delta as well as an increase in business aircraft can all be handled with current staffing.

“We will be busy, but we’re equipped to handle all of this and still maintain the high level of safety required and expected,” he stated.