Senate passes bill stripping airport control from Jackson

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Control of the Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport would shift to state officials and surrounding counties under a Senate-passed bill.

Senate Bill 2162, approved Thursday on a 29-18 vote, would replace the five-member Jackson Municipal Airport Authority with a nine-member Jackson Metropolitan Airport Authority.

Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber names all five current board members. The new bill gives him and the Jackson City Council one appointment each.

Governor Phil Bryant would pick two board members. Rankin and Madison Counties would each name one.

State Senator Josh Harkins, a Flowood Republican, says his bill brings more stakeholders to the table.

Senate Democrats argue the bill is a political move to take power away from Jackson.

The measure was held for the possibility of more debate before moving to the House.