Gas station planned for airport-owned property

By By John Guidroz / American Press

The Lake Charles Regional Airport

Authority approved an agreement earlier this month to build a gas

station on airport-owned

property along a stretch of Gulf Highway, a decision that could

spur additional development projects in the area, according

to Heath Allen, the airport’s executive director.

While a lease has not been finalized

between the airport and the developer, Allen said Wednesday that the

developer is considering

property across the street from Burton Coliseum to locate the gas

station. He said the lease could extend up to 50 years.

“It will be a pretty significant investment,” Allen said. “Right now, you really have to come into town to get gas. I think

the gas station will work well with passengers and employees at the airport and people using rental cars.”

Federal law requires any structure built on airport property to undergo an airport airspace analysis to make sure it does

not affect navigation.

Allen said the Texas-based consulting firm Kutchins and Groh is working on a master plan that includes a land use map. The

map will identify which areas can be used for nonaviation development.

“We’ve got a lot of property that could be used for nonaviation purposes, whether it be a small strip mall or something else,”

he said. “Any type of nonaviation revenue obviously helps the airport.”

Allen said the airport is operating on a master plan that was approved in 2005. He said the updated plan could be finalized

early next year.

Grant money from the Federal Aviation Administration funds 90 percent of the plan, while the state Department of Transportation

and Development funds the remaining 10 percent. Allen said the master plan is required for the airport to receive federal

money to spend on capital improvement projects.