Friday, April 30, 2010

Contract: Boeing, $6.8M

Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., was awarded a $6,760,660 contract which will provide fiscal 2010 and fiscal 2011 option year sustaining support to the Lot 6 production contract. At this time, $3,371,832 has been obligated. 681 ARSS/PK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (Source: DoD, 04/30/10)

Contract: Raytheon, $53.1M

Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., was awarded a $53,100,000 contract which will provide for the engineering and manufacturing development for the Miniature Air Launched Decoy-Jammer. This includes the associated engineering, program management, supportability, mission planning, modeling and simulation, hardware fabrication, production readiness, software and testing. 692 ARSS/PK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (Source: DoD, 04/30/10)

Joint F-35 EW squadron set up

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - The squadron serving as the sole Department of Defense provider of electronic warfare support for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter activated April 23 in a ceremony at Eglin. The 513th Electronic Warfare Squadron stood up as a first step toward preparing airmen, sailors and Marines with the latest electronic warfare data for all three variants on the F-35. The squadron, which currently has 32 technicians and engineers, will grow to 130 personnel at full strength and will operate the $300 million United States Reprogramming Laboratory, which tests all aspects of the Joint Strike Fighter's electronic warfare capability. Half will be airmen and half Navy and Marine personnel. Eglin is the home of the JSF training center. (Source: Eglin Air Force Base, 04/29/10)

FEMA chief visits Hurricane Hunters

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. - Craig Fugate, who was appointed last year to head up the Federal Emergency Management Agency, visited the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron Hurricane Hunters at Keesler Air Force Base Thursday. He saw the C-130Js and got an update of the squadron's missions. The hurricane season begins June 1. (Source: Sun Herald, 04/29/10)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Blue Angels name 2011-12 leader

PENSACOLA, Fla. - The Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration team announced the commanding officer for the 2011 and 2012 teams will be Cmdr. David E. Koss. He was chosen by a panel of admirals and former Blue Angels. Koss is commanding officer of Strike Fighter Squadron 14, the "Tophatters." The Blue Angels are based at Naval Air Station Pensacola. (Source: NNS, 04/29/10)

Keesler gets new medical group leader

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. - Brig. Gen. Dan Wyman passes leadership of the 81st Medical Group to Brig. Gen. Kory Cornum during a change of command ceremony at 9 a.m. Friday in front of Keesler Medical Center. Wyman will become the command surgeon for Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia. Cornum comes to Keesler after serving as ACC command surgeon since 2007. Wyman assumed command of the 81st Medical Group in June 2008 following a two-year tour of duty as command surgeon of Pacific Air Forces and 13th Air Force surgeon at Hickam AFB, Hawaii. (Source: Sun Herald, 04/28/10)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Contract: Satterfield, $22.5M

Satterfield & Pontikes Construction Inc., Houston, Texas, is being awarded a $22,540,000 firm-fixed-price contract for construction of a 202-room combat systems officer bachelor housing at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. Work is expected to be completed by June 2012. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online Web site, with 21 proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 04/27/10)

NG picks Virginia for HQ

Northrop Grumman will locate its new corporate office in Virginia, ending a search that also included the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia. Northrop Grumman is negotiating with several building owners in the Falls Church/Arlington area. The company expects to initiate operations in the new corporate office in the summer of 2011 with about 300 people. The move of corporate headquarters from Los Angeles to the Washington area is designed to let the company be closer to its primary customer, the Pentagon. Northrop Grumman has 120,000 employees and is involved in the aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services sectors. (Source: Northrop Grumman, 04/26/10) Gulf Coast note: Northrop Grumman has a major presence on the Gulf Coast, including shipyards and an unmanned systems center.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Italian military gets F-35 training update

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - Representatives from the Italian air force and navy visited the 33rd Fighter Wing recently to check the progress of the first F-35 integrated training center and learn more about this new coalition venture. "A lot of work has been done. A lot of work has to be done," said Rear Adm. Paolo Treu, director of Naval Aviation Department and commander of the Italian Fleet Air Arm. Italy is one of the partner nations that will be training Joint Strike Fighter pilots and maintainers at the 33rd FW. (Source: Eglin Public Affairs Office, 4/23/2010)

EADS launches tanker Web site

EADS North America has launched, a new website about the company’s KC-45 aerial tanker that it’s proposing to build for the Air Force. The new site features video and photography of the KC-45 tanker in flight conducting refueling operations, as well as facts and information about the aerial refueling system. EADS North America announced last week it's re-entering the competition against Boeing, which is offering the 767. If selected, the tanker will be built in Mobile, Ala. (Source: EADS, 04/23/10)

F-35 composite work earns award

FORT WORTH, Texas - Lockheed Martin, Magestic Systems Inc. and Nikon Metrology jointly won a first-place JEC Innovation Award in composites manufacturing for technology used in the production of the F-35. The 2010 JEC Innovation Award was presented in Paris earlier this month in recognition of the cured laminate compensation process, a composite manufacturing process for achieving precision, as-built laminate thickness without post-cure machining. The new process is used in the production of composite parts for the F-35 and was developed to pre-measure and correct the thickness of cured composite wing skins for the F-35. (Source: PRNewswire, 04/26/10) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is scheduled to become home of the F-35 training center; fabrication and research into advanced materials is a key sector in South Mississippi.

SSC said "critical" for NASA

Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., says he's "gained assurances" that NASA's Stennis Space Center in South Mississippi will have a robust future as a testing facility whether or not Congress agrees to the sweeping changes proposed for NASA by the Obama administration. Cochran questioned NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden Jr. about Stennis during a hearing to review the FY2011 budget request for the space agency. Bolden stressed the need for a "robust testing program," and and pointed to $312 million for commercial space testing, some of which will take place at Stennis. "Stennis is critical," Bolden testified. (Source: Mississippi Business Journal, 04/26/10)

FWB Boeing engineers C-130 tanker

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. - A new fuel tanker aircraft designed and engineered at the Fort Walton Beach Boeing office has been delivered to the Japan Air Self-Defense Forces. Boeing Fort Walton Beach partnered with Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Cobham Mission Systems to convert a C-130H into a flying refueling station. The project got its start with work Boeing Fort Walton Beach completed for the Air Force Special Operations Command, converting 20 C-130Hs into tankers. That caught the eye of the Japan, which needed tankers for UH-60 rescue helicopters. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX and TradingMarkets, 04/25/10)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Space UAV launched

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. - A Boeing-built unmanned orbital vehicle called X-37B was successfully launched Thursday aboard an Atlas V rocket into low-earth orbit. The Orbital Test Vehicle's mission is classified. The X-37B is designed to return from space and land on its own. The vehicle will be used to demonstrate a reliable, reusable unmanned space test platform for the Air Force. The Atlas V is powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 booster engine and a Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RL10 upper-stage engine. (Sources: Boeing, PRNewswire, 04/22/10) Gulf Coast note: Unmanned aerial systems are built in part in Moss Point, Miss; Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne has an operation at Stennis Space Center, Miss.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

AF F-35 completes flight test

FORT WORTH, Texas - The Air Force version of the F-35A flew for an hour Tuesday from Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas, becoming the seventh F-35 Lightning II to fly. AF-2, the conventional takeoff and landing aircraft, is the Air Force's version of the Joint Strike Fighter. This fifth-generation fighter is the first one to carry an internal GAU-22/A 25-millimeter Gatling gun weapon system. (Source: AFNS, 04/22/10) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is scheduled to become home to the Joint Strike Fighter training center.

Building named for Doolittle Raider

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - A building at Eglin Air Force Base has been renamed to honor one of the Doolittle Raiders. Building 68 was named the Horton J-Primes Test Facility in honor of retired Master Sgt. Ed Horton, who passed away in 2008. Horton was a gunner on one of the B-25s that launched from a carrier to bomb Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Horton was among the group that trained at Eglin for the risky mission. (Source: Eglin Air Force Base, 04/21/10)

County won't pay city's legal fee

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. - Okaloosa County rejected paying Valparaiso's legal fees in a lawsuit over the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Valparaiso sought to be reimbursed $61,000. The county sued Valparaiso in April 2009 to halt the city's lawsuit against the Air Force over the possibility of the F-35s coming to Eglin Air Force Base. The lawsuit was settled in February. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 04/21/10)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

SSC commemorates Apollo 13 mission

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center marked the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 13 flight with exhibits and remembrances from Biloxi native Fred Haise Jr., who served as lunar module pilot on the mission. During an afternoon of activities, Stennis hosted employees and area senior citizens to tour Apollo 13 exhibits, take photos with Haise, collect NASA-related items and offer their own remembrances of the mission. Apollo 13 launched April 11, 1970 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Two days into the flight, the command module spacecraft was crippled by an oxygen tank explosion, forcing a free-trajectory return to Earth. The astronauts were forced to power down the command module and use the lunar module as a space "lifeboat." (Source: NASA, 04/21/10)

787 undergoing Eglin testing

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - A Boeing 787 is at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., to undergo extreme weather testing at the Air Force's McKinley Climatic Laboratory. According to Boeing, the 787 flight-test fleet logged its 500th hour of flying April 16. The 787 at Eglin is designated ZA003. (Source: Boeing, 04/20/10) The plane will experience temperatures as high as 115 degrees Fahrenheit and as low as minus 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Cold-weather testing is being done first. Additional extreme-weather testing will be conducted later in the flight test program. A crew of about 100 people traveled from Seattle to support the test operations on ZA003. The testing in Florida is expected to last nearly two weeks. (Source: PRNewswire, 04/22/10) The McKinley Climatic Lab is part of the 46th Test Wing. In addition to Air Force testing, it can be used by other government agencies and private industry. It can create any climatic environment in the world.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

EADS to enter tanker battle

EADS North America announced today that it intends to submit a proposal by July 9 for the U.S. Air Force's tanker program and will offer the KC-45. EADS is in discussions with potential U.S. partners. Reuters first reported Monday that EADS would likely submit a bid, and the company confirmed it today. EADS said that in addition to the tankers, it plans to build and modify A330 commercial freighters at a site in Mobile, Ala. The tanker will be competing against the Boeing 767, a smaller aircraft, for the $40 billion contract. EADS' former partner, Northrop Grumman, dropped out of the competition on grounds the Air Force request for proposals favored the smaller tanker. (Source: EADS, 04/20/10)

Pensacola adding flights

PENSACOLA, Fla. - United Airlines will start a daily nonstop flight from Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport to Chicago beginning Nov. 4. The new daily service was the result of United successful weekend service to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport that began in February. United recently entered the Pensacola market in February with two daily departures to Washington Dulles International Airport. Service for the United Express flight will be operated by Express Jet on a 50-seat Embraer ERJ-145 jet. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 04/20/10)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sources: EADS poised to go it alone

Reuters is reporting that EADS is poised to bid alone for a U.S. tanker after failing to recruit L-3 Communications Holdings or another major company. The news service cites sources familiar with the matter. Guy Hicks, spokesman for EADS' U.S. arm, said the company continued to examine its options and declined further comment. EADS' previous partner, Northrop Grumman, bowed out after determining the request for proposals favored the smaller Boeing aircraft. (Source: Reuters, 04/19/10) Gulf Coast note: EADS would assemble the tankers in Mobile, Ala.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

City wants county to pay legal fees

VALPARAISO, Fla. - The city of Valparaiso has asked Okaloosa County to pay its legal fees related to recent litigation over the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The county sued Valparaiso last April to halt the city's lawsuit against the Air Force over the possibility of the aircraft coming to Eglin Air Force Base. The county claimed Valparaiso officials violated the state's Government in the Sunshine law when they voted to sue the Air Force. The lawsuit was settled last month. The legal fees come to $61,000. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 04/16/10)

Airports sign co-op accord

Airports sign co-operative accord
GULFPORT, Miss. - Officials from the airports in Gulfport and Panama signed a cooperation agreement Thursday to promote cargo trade in both countries. Bruce Frallic, director of Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, said several initiatives already are being implemented. Rafael Flores, general manager of the Tocumen International Airport in Panama, said his country is a transfer point of goods and the Coast also can become a hub for this trade. (Source: Sun Herald, 04/15/10)

N.O. passenger count dips

NEW ORLEANS, La. - The number of passengers going through the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport dropped a bit in February. The airport reported 618,201 passengers boarded and left flights in February, down from 620,814 in February 2009. For the first two months of the year, traffic is down 1.5 percent over the first two months of 2009. (Source: AP via Times-Picayune, 04/16/10)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Victims of Navy plane crash identified

The four people aboard a Navy T-39N Sabreliner that crashed in a wooded area north of Atlanta Monday have been identified. They are retired Lt. Cmdr. Charles McDaniel, 67, of Cantonment, Fla., Marine Capt. Jason Paynter, 38, of Pensacola, Fla., Marine 1st Lt. Shawn Nice, 26, of Levittown, Pa., and Navy Ensign Zachary Eckhart, 25, of Orefield, Pa. They were on a routine training mission and assigned to Training Squadron 86 at Naval Air Station Pensacola. The cause of the crash is under investigation. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 04/15/10)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fire Scout returns from deployment

MAYPORT, Fla. - The Fire Scout unmanned helicopter returned from its first operational deployment today. The UAV was embarked aboard USS McInerney during its recent six-month deployment to the U.S. Southern Command Area of Responsibility. Fire Scout can reach speeds of up to 85 knots, altitudes of 20,000 feet and fly for more than six hours on one tank of fuel. Fire Scout was kept up and running by Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light 42 Det. 7, who served as McInerney's air support. According to Lt. Tobias Walters of HSL-42 Det. 7, Fire Scout did well during its first deployment. He called it a technology that will integrate well with today's Navy. Among other things, the Fire Scout was used in drug bust. (Source: NNS, 04/15/10) Gulf Coast note: Fire Scouts are built in part in Moss Point, Miss.

Stennis awards construction contract

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - NASA's Stennis Space Center in south Mississippi awarded an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract to M&D Mechanical Contractors, Inc. of Decatur, Ala., to provide general construction services at the center. The contract value is not to exceed $25 million. The contract is for five years, with no option periods. General construction activities performed under this contract will include maintenance, repair, alteration, civil, mechanical, piping and structural steel fabrication and erection and electrical work at Stennis. (Source: NASA, 04/12/10)

Gilbrech now SSC deputy director

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - Rick Gilbrech is now deputy director of John C. Stennis Space Center, the agency’s primary testing ground for rocket engines and propulsion systems, and its systems engineering center for applied science activities. The appointment of Gilbrech, who has served as the center's associate director, was effective immediately. Gilbrech began his NASA career at Stennis in 1991 and is the former director. He was associate administrator for the exploration systems mission directorate, retired, then returned to NASA and was named associate director at SSC before being named deputy director. (Source: NASA, 04/12/10)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Search continues for crash cause

A day after a Navy training jet crashed in rural Georgia, crews were searching the woods for clues to determine the cause. Navy officials said four people were in the T-39N Sabreliner when it crashed Monday into a wooded area two hours north of Atlanta. The aircraft was assigned to Training Air Wing Six at Pensacola Naval Air Station, Fla., and was flying a routine training mission. All four crew members are believed to have died in the crash. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 04/14/10)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Contracts: Northrop Grumman, $10M

Northrop Grumman System Corp., San Diego, Calif., was awarded a $9,999,999 contract which will provide for additional long-lead funding of two Global Hawk Block 30M systems and two Global Hawk Block 40 systems. 303 AESG/SYK, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 04/13/10) Gulf Coast note: Global Hawks are built in part in Moss Point, Miss.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Fire Scout scores its first drug bust

EASTERN PACIFIC OCEAN - A Fire Scout unmanned helicopter in a routine flight supported its first drug interdiction with the USS McInerney and a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment this past weekend. A test was being conducted on one of the ship's two Fire Scouts when the UAV acquired a suspected narcotics "go-fast" on radar. The mission payload operator received permission to pursue. Over three hours, Fire Scout monitored the go-fast with its state-of-the-art optics. Due to its small profile, Fire Scout maintained a covert posture while feeding real-time video back to McInerney. Fire Scout captured video of the "go-fast" meeting with a fishing vessel. McInerney and its Coast Guard detachment moved in and seized about 60 kilos of cocaine and caused the suspects to allegedly jettison another 200 kilos of narcotics. (Source: NNS, 04/07/10) Gulf Coast note: Fire Scouts are built in part in Moss Point, Miss.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Eglin air show this weekend

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will headline the 75th Anniversary Eglin Air Force Base Air Show April 10-11. Gates open at 9 a.m. to the general public and it's free for anyone attending this event. The gates will close to the general public at 3 p.m. In addition to the air performances there will be a wide range of static displays. (Source: Eglin Air Force Base, 04/05/10)

Contract: McDonnell Douglas, $10.3M

McDonnell Douglas Corp., St. Louis, Mo., was awarded a $10,264,377 contract which provided for the purchase of 89 carriage load crew trainers and 356 weapons load crew trainers to support F-16 Block 40/50, F-35, and F-22 integrations and training requirements. 681 ARSS/PK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 04/06/10)

Drone recovered by fisherman

A BQM-167 drone out of Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., was recovered by a fisherman in the Gulf of Mexico. The drone had been lost March 10 due to an engine flame-out during a routine training exercise. The drone, found in the Tampa area, belongs to the 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron, a tenant unit at Tyndall. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 04/06/10)

Star Aviation wins contract

MOBILE, Ala. - Star Aviation said it won a contract to help install wireless Internet systems on 105 planes owned by Alaska Airlines. Star, which has about 100 employees between its Brookley Field Industrial Complex headquarters and an office in Everett, Wash., will design and make wiring harnesses and the racks to hold them. The work is supposed to be completed by the end of the year. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 04/06/10)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Contract: Gulf Power, $5.6M

Gulf Power Co., Pensacola, Fla., was awarded a $5,586,210 firm-fixed-price contract for the construction of Freedom Way substation and transmission line extension, Hurlburt Field, Fla. Work is to be performed in Hurlburt Field. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile District, Mobile, Ala., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 04/05/10)

Science center signing ceremony set

GULFPORT, Miss. - A signing ceremony for the contract to build a 72,000 square foot state-of-the-art science center near NASA's Stennis Space Center will be held Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the Hancock Bank Board Room in downtown Gulfport. Roy Anderson Corp. will start construction May 1. The center to be located along Interstate 10 near the Louisiana-Mississippi state line is expected to be a big tourist draw. Infinity is designed to highlight the activities at Stennis Space Center and inspire a new generation of scientists and engineers in the fields of earth, ocean and space science. (Source: Infinity Science Center Inc., 04/05/10)

F-35 training remains on track

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Despite recent problems with the F-35 cost and development schedule, establishment of a training pipeline for pilots and maintainers for the Joint Strike Fighter remains on track. Navy Capt. Mike Saunders, deputy commander of the 33rd Operations Group at Eglin, told Navy Times the plan is to be ready with the first jet arrives. The Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps plan to begin flying the F-35 within the next two years. The first simulators arrived in late March. The Marine Corps' training squadron, Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, stood up Friday. The Air Force created the 58th Fighter Squadron last year. The Navy's Strike Fighter Squadron 101 will stand up next year. (Source: Navy Times, 04/05/10)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

MSU hosts UAV conference

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State University this week will host a two-day national symposium on unmanned aircraft systems. Titled "Academic Opportunities: Developing the Future of Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Remotely Piloted Aircraft," it's designed to identify research opportunities in the growing UAV field, including airspace integration, autonomy, swarming, signal processing and sense and avoid. The invitation-only symposium begins Wednesday at Hunter Henry Center with keynote speaker Lt. Gen. David Deptula, deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The gathering brings together some 200 military, government and academic leaders to help update the Air Force's Unmanned Aircraft Systems Flight Plan for 2009-47. (Source: MSU, 03/23/10 ) Gulf Coast note: MSU is in the state's Golden Triangle, home to a cluster of aerospace companies, including those involved in UAVs. South Mississippi, home to Stennis Space Center, is the state's other aerospace hotspot, with portions of Northrop Grumman Global Hawk and Fire Scout UAVs built in Moss Point.

Keesler chief assigned to Space Command

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. - Brig. Gen. Ian R. Dickinson, commander of the 81st Training Wing at Keesler Air Force Base, will be the new communications director and chief information officer for the Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Dickinson will replace Brig. Gen. David B. Warner, who retires July 1. Dickinson's replacement at Keesler has not been announced. (Sources: AP via cbs4denver, WLOX-TV, Keesler, 04/04/10)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Contract: Raytheon, $13.5M

Raytheon Co., Tuscon, Ariz., was awarded a $13,542,075 contract which provides support for four months of AMRAAM system engineering and program management due to delay of Lot 24. 695ARSS/PK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 04/02/10)

Marine unit reactivated for F-35 duties

PENSACOLA, Fla. - Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 451 was reactivated this week after a 13-year absence to train Marines to pilot F-35 fighters. The ceremony was at the National Naval Aviation Museum at Naval Air Station Pensacola. The unit, first activated in 1944, is being redesignated Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501. It will train at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., which will be used by all the services for initial training in the F-35. The Marines will use the short-takeoff, vertical landing variant of the Lockheed Martin-built plane. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 04/02/10)

Gulfport gets new flights

GULFPORT, Miss. - A new air service between Gulfport and Branson, Mo., will get underway beginning May 17. Startup airline Branson Air Express will use 50-seat Embraer ERJ-145 regional planes operated under charter by ExpressJet Airlines Inc. Flights will be on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Connecting flights will be available to Houston and Austin, Texas. (Source: Sun Herald, Mississippi Press, 04/01/10)