Kamal Ikavi is just arriving back on the Coast after his first semester of medical school in St. Martin. After the first of many stressful semesters, he’s more than ready to be back home for the holidays. Ikavi says, "It’s nice you get to be with your family, be home for a while. So it just brings everyone closer together and it’s just nice to be home."
Ikavi is one of many travelers coming through the airport this holiday season. Airlines for American projects between December 17th and January 4th, 45 million passengers will be flying. Clay Williams, Executive Director of the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, says, "Today actually ends up being busier because a lot of kids are getting out of school, families are beginning to travel for the holidays to see friends and relatives."
Since the Coast is such a large military hub, airport officials are expecting to see a lot of men and women in uniform come through the airport within the next few days.” Williams closes, "We’re really fortunate here at Gulfport-Biloxi that we have a very nice U.S.O. facility where you have a lot of people that can take advantage of that. It’s actually a good place for them to come before they take off on a trip."
Whether military members or students like Ikavi, everyone is just doing what they can to get home and see their families for the holidays. A large winter storm is expected to hit the northeast Christmas Eve and could quite possibly cause serious delays for some fliers. Although snow is expected in south Mississippi, connecting flights could be the issue for travelers flying out of Gulfport.