(American Press Archives)
Last Modified: Sunday, August 03, 2014 5:14 PM
Chennault International Airport has received a $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to help rehabilitate its runway.
Randy Robb, executive director of Chennault, said he was pleased to hear news of the grant, but was not surprised.
Chennault took the first step toward expanding the airfield’s taxiway into a second runway in November 2012. The alternate runway, which will cost about $10 million, is funded by the Federal Aviation Administration and the state. It will be 150 feet wide and 8,000 feet long.
The grant, announced Thursday afternoon, will fund the first two of three phases. Phase 1 included preparing the land and drainage and reinforcing the outside of the taxiway. Phase two involves making sure the taxiway is strong enough for asphalt, Robb said, and phase three involves the overlay. The grant allows Chennault to continue construction without time lapses in between phases.
“This is absolutely critical to our forecast future for our anticipated growth,” Robb said Thursday. “There are a lot of things that are cooking in the background right now that will cause us to need an alternate runway.”
A second runway will allow Chennault to close down the main runway to do repairs without shutting down the whole airport. He said one runway presents “a scheduling nightmare” at Chennault.
And as Southwest Louisiana continues to prepare for billions of dollars in industrial investment, U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, said, the region needs an airport infrastructure that can handle a new level of industrial activity.
Robb added that the second runway will open up more opportunities and potential investments at Chennault.
Posted By: Will On: 8/2/2014
Title: Chennault sustainability
Chennault needs to be self sustaining . We should not use tax dollars to subsidize Chennault.