The Monroe County Airport will host an open house April 11 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. for its newly constructed terminal, named after Aero English, who was one of the first pilots to not only fly out of the county’s airport but house a plane in one of its original three hangars.
The official dedication ceremony of the terminal will be at 11 a.m.
“Hopefully this will put some interest in young minds,” said Lauren English Hamilton, English’ daughter.
According to Hamilton, her father has been flying since he was a child and his father built his first airplane. English served as a Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, but was not a pilot during his service. He previously flew for several companies including Bill’s Dollar Store and L&A Contracting Company of Hattiesburg.
Hamilton expects between 60 and 70 planes to fly in for the ceremony, which will include a Federal Aviation Administration presentation and speeches by Monroe County Airport Director Wes Kirkpatrick; Monroe County Board of Supervisors President Billy Kirkpatrick; BancorpSouth Chief Pilot Aubie Pearman, who is a close friend of English’s; and Brigadier Gen. Robert Stewart, a former astronaut who English taught to fly.
The local chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association will be providing hamburgers and hotdogs at the open house as well. The public is invited to attend.