If you never experienced flying out of the old Monroe Regional Airport terminal, you missed a throwback to the 1960s.
While we miss parking at the door and the great, cheap breakfasts at the grill before those early morning flights, we don’t miss the decades of dust collected on the popcorn ceiling or other signs of the dated facility.
We wrote many editorials about the poor impression this facility made on people traveling here that we were trying to impress so they would do business in our community.
The new airport terminal opened early, and there were problems. We wrote about those as well.
So, we’re happy to report now that MLU, the Monroe Regional Airport, is humming on all eight cylinders.
It’s only fitting that the home town of Delta Air Lines should have a nice facility for travelers. With Southwest pulling out of Jackson, Miss., it’s going to be even more convenient to fly Monroe first because we won’t have to weigh whether saving $50 or $100 by driving to Jackson is worth our time and effort.
Added safety features like an upgraded airport fire truck and new station will also upgrade the facility’s safety and response time for aircraft in distress.
Airport Director Ron Phillips said the airport continues to see increased traffic and passengers. The airport has already reached its revenue goal for this fiscal year with three months left.
That can certainly be attributed to the easy connections we can make to Atlanta, Dallas and Houston with our three airlines.
And it’s just plain convenient and inexpensive (when you compare costs elsewhere) to park and get to a flight or pick up a passenger.
The friendly staff, including the local Transportation Safety Administration agents and the local airline representatives, is always alert to protect us, but they’re also on a first-name basis with many of us.
We’re proud of the improved MLU, and thankful that we have such a nice facility to provide a gateway to our community for passengers who are coming here to consider our community for business or employment.