LC Airport reports strong month

Published 3:44 am Saturday, September 30, 2023

Lake Charles Regional Airport had its second best month in July since 1994, and in September, it checked off the first of a series of improvements planned.

 Now, passengers picked up or dropped off at Lake Charles Regional Airport no longer have to worry about the rain. New canopies span all three lanes of traffic. The $4,125,041 project was funded primarily by Federal and State aviation trust funds, according to  LCH Executive Director Heath Allen.

Allen said the Airport took great effort in working with architects to choose a design that was functional without compromising the existing architecture, a cantilevered steel and tension fabric design. Footings are 45-feet deep.

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“We appreciate everyone’s patience as we navigated this construction project, especially challenging given the location at the front door of the passenger terminal,” Allen said. “I believe passengers  will be very pleased with this and future projects.”

Next on Allen’s list is expanded parking, and bids for the project will be let in December. American Airlines has upgauged its carriers, the term used in the industry when replacing smaller planes with larger ones. Added seats are filling up, driving the need for more parking.

“Revenge travel is real,” Allen said. People are making up for experiences missed during the pandemic, hurricanes and other weather disasters.

The market challenge now is a shortage of pilots.

“I’m afraid it’s going to get worse before it gets better,” Allen said. “The shortage is impacting regional markets first. Seventy-six cities have lost service, and most of those are smaller, regional type markets.”

Lake Charles Regional Airport offers service by two commercial airlines. American Airlines offers non-stop service to the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and United Airlines offers nonstop service to the Houston International Airport for a total of connections to over 500 domestic and international destinations.

In addition to the Region’s commercial air transportation, LCH serves a significant number of general aviation missions including private air transportation, flight training, medical evac, mosquito control and others. LCH also serves as a major operations base for Bristow Group, Inc., the world’s leader in global vertical flight solutions offering transportation to oil and gas customers, search, and rescue (SAR) and aircraft support solutions to government and civil organizations. Over 30 organizations conduct business operations at the Lake Charles Regional Airport.