SW La. adds to its site selection list

The American Press

Lake Charles Regional Airport is the ninth location in Southwest Louisiana to be deemed a certified site under the Louisiana Economic Development’s Site Certification Program.

Now the airport is poised to attract additional development on 156 acres of its nearly 2,000-acre property.

All LED Certified Sites have completed a rigorous application and review process conducted by an independent, third-party engineering firm. The in-depth evaluation includes an environmental site assessment, wetlands delineation, geotechnical survey, threatened and endangered species study and a cultural and archaeological survey.

This process ensures potential buyers that they will have no site issues that could disrupt critical construction schedules or present unexpected additional project costs.

“A certified site is considered ‘shovel-ready’ by developers, which greatly increases its appeal,” said Gus Fontenot, project coordinator for the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. “That elevates that property in the market place, and that’s going to serve the area well in terms of generating revenue for the airport and it’s going to generate jobs for this area and this parish.”

LED Secretary Don Pierson said attracting developers to our state is part of a “readiness game.”

“We’re in an age of acceleration; it’s not site selectors, it’s site eliminators — are they ready or are they not,” Pierson said. “That’s what developers are looking for. It’s nice to add another certified site in this region.”

Heath Allen, the airport’s executive director, said for every dollar invested in local tax dollars in the airport, the return is $291.

“Airports are tremendous generators of economic activity, in fact the Department of Transportation and Development has pegged the economic outlook for Lake Charles Regional Airport in the state of Louisiana at $224 million per year with about 1,600 jobs and an over $50 million payroll,” he said. “That’s quite significant.”

Congratulations to the airport.

This site certification designation is an important move for the facility and for Southwest Louisiana.””

Heath Allen and LED Secretary Don Pierson unveil a sign during a press conference at Lake Charles Regional Airport in Lake Charles, La., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. (Rick Hickman/Lake Charles American Press)

Rick HickmanRickHickmanPhotographer
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LED Secretary Don Pierson speaks during a press conference at Lake Charles Regional Airport in Lake Charles, La., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. (Rick Hickman/Lake Charles American Press)

Rick HickmanRickHickmanPhotographer
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LED Secretary Don Pierson speaks during a press conference at Lake Charles Regional Airport in Lake Charles, La., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. (Rick Hickman/Lake Charles American Press)

Rick HickmanRickHickmanPhotographer
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