It's estimated Chennault supports more than 3000 jobs and billions of dollars of economic activity in the area. And now the state is partnering with local government to capitalize on more opportunity with a 112.000 square foot new maintenance and repair hangar.
Governor Bobby Jindal said it was a great day for Southwest Louisiana. "This airport has literally been bursting at the seams. Every year that I"ve been governor there's been another announcement about more jobs, more expansion right here."
Chennault officials say the process is underway to award a bid for construction of the new $21 million hanger which will be located in this area at the airport.
Jindal says existing businesses need the facility to grow. "The state's providing a combination of CDBG (Community Development Block Grant),capital outlay and DOTD ( Department of Transportation and Development) dollars. "The bottom line is we're not only going to build a great new facility, we're going to provide up to 500 new jobs in a growing industry right here. I just talked to Roger Porter at Aeroframe and this airport is literally bursting at the seams and as more and more companies want to repair and manufacture, upgrade their planes here. These are great paying manufacturing jobs here."
The local match was $4 million. Officials say the hangar would not have been possible without local and state government working together. State House Speaker Chuck Kleckley of Lake Charles was here and says he'll make the most of his new position for the community. "I'm a very important part of crafting the capital outlay bill and this is a very critical year. This is my first year being part of that process but I can promise you one thing, and the governor knows this and his chief of staff knows this, because I made it very clear to them, Southwest Louisiana will not be left out."
The hangar is expected to be complete in 2013 and help meet growth needs of business here for decades to come.