MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – The Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley is looking to expand its footprint downtown, and that may one day include nearby public housing.
Chris Curry, president of the Mobile Airport Authority, told FOX10 News on Tuesday that the airport would like to buy property that currently houses the RV Taylor public housing units on Michigan Avenue. He added, however, that nothing is imminent.
“The airport’s position in it all is very simple. If and when there’s property available for acquisition, we would be seriously interested in it,” he said. “From a historical perspective, when you look at that area, that was once part of the Brookley Air Force base.”
Brookley has been a hot location in recent years. In addition to being home to an Airbus assembly plan, the facility also began hosting Frontier Airlines out of a new terminal that opened in May. Long-term plans call for moving all commercial flights from Mobile Regional Airport on Airport Boulevard.
That and expanding industrial operations increase the need for space, Curry said.
“There’s no doubt that the airport needs to grow,” he said.
Curry said the airport is looking to use more of the space within the property’s current fence line and/or expand outward.
The authority had sought property between the airport and Mobile Bay, but the University of South Alabama Foundation sold about 290 acres to a development group for $45 million. Curry said the authority would like to work with that developer to benefit the airport.
As to what the RV Taylor might be used for, Curry said it is “really too many (possibilities) to even speculate.”
Curry said those decisions would be made as part of an ongoing process to update a long-term mast plan. That report is due in June of next year.
“What’s important to us is if and when it becomes available that we can acquire it with the least impact to the residents of the community,” he said.