2005 Regular Session

To: Highways and Transportation

By: Senator(s) Hewes

Senate Bill 2778



     SECTION 1.  Section 61-3-15, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     61-3-15.  An authority shall have all the powers necessary or convenient to carry out the purposes of this chapter (excluding the power to levy and collect taxes or special assessments) including, but not limited to, the power:

          (a)  To sue and be sued, to have a seal and to have perpetual succession.

          (b)  To purchase general liability insurance coverage, including errors and omissions insurance, for its officials and employees.

          (c)  To employ an executive director, secretary, technical experts, and such other officers, agents and employees, permanent and temporary, as it may require, and to determine their qualifications and duties, and to establish compensation and other employment benefits as may be advisable to attract and retain proficient personnel.

          (d)  To execute such contracts and other instruments and take such other action as may be necessary or convenient to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

          (e)  To plan, establish, develop, construct, enlarge, improve, maintain, equip, operate, regulate and protect airports and air navigation facilities within this state and within any adjoining state, including the acquisition, lease, lease-purchase, construction, installation, equipment, maintenance and operation of such airports or buildings, equipment and other facilities or other property for the servicing of aircraft or for the comfort and accommodation of air travelers or for any other purpose deemed by the authority to be necessary to carry out its duties; to develop, operate, manage or own and maintain intermodal facilities to serve air and surface cargo and multimodal facilities to serve highway and rail passenger transportation needs to ensure interface and interaction between modes for cargo and passengers; to market, promote and advertise airport properties, goods and services; and to directly purchase and sell supplies, goods and commodities incident to the operation of its airport properties without having to make purchases thereof through the municipal governing authorities.  For such purposes an authority may, by purchase, gift, devise, lease, eminent domain proceedings or otherwise, acquire property, real or personal, or any interest therein, including easements in airport hazards or land outside the boundaries of an airport or airport site, as are necessary to permit the removal, elimination, obstruction-marking or obstruction-lighting of airport hazards, to prevent the establishment of airport hazards or to carry out its duties.

          (f)  To acquire, by purchase, gift, devise, lease, lease-purchase, eminent domain proceedings or otherwise, existing airports and air navigation facilities.  However, an authority shall not acquire or take over any airport or air navigation facility owned or controlled by another authority, a municipality or public agency of this or any other state without the consent of such authority, municipality or public agency.

          (g)  To establish or acquire and maintain airports in, over and upon any public waters of this state, and any submerged lands under such public waters, and to construct and maintain terminal buildings, landing floats, causeways, roadways and bridges for approaches to or connecting with any such airport, and landing floats and breakwaters for the protection thereof.

          (h)  To establish, enact and enforce ordinances, rules, regulations and standards for public safety, aviation safety, airport operations and the preservation of good order and peace of the authority; to prevent injury to, destruction of or interference with public or private property; to protect property, health and lives and to enhance the general welfare of the authority by restricting the movements of citizens or any group thereof on the property of the authority when there is imminent danger to the public safety because of freedom of movement thereof; to regulate the entrances to property and buildings of the authority and the way of ingress and egress to and from the same; to establish fire limits and to regulate, restrain or prohibit construction failing to meet standards established by the authority; to appoint and discharge police officers with jurisdiction limited to property of the airport authority and authorization to enforce the ordinances, rules and regulations of the authority, as well as the laws of the State of Mississippi, and to issue citations for infractions of all of such ordinances, rules, regulations, standards and laws of the State of Mississippi returnable to the court of appropriate jurisdiction.

          (i)  To develop and operate an industrial park or parksand exercise all authority provided for under Chapter 7, Title 57, Mississippi Code of 1972.

          (j)  To attach, pursuant to the power and procedure set forth in Chapter 33, Title 11, Mississippi Code of 1972, the equipment of debtors of the authority.

          (k)  To enter into agreements with local governments pursuant to Section 17-13-1 et seq.

          (l)  To enter into cooperative or exchange agreements with airports, trade associations or other enterprises in foreign countries for the purpose of promoting airport international commerce and to establish a trade development and promotion account to pay all direct and necessary expenses for the promotion and development of airport properties, goods and services.

     SECTION 2.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.