Louisiana airports receive $11.3 million in safety and infrastructure grants

Updated: Feb. 19, 2020 at 7:21 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The U.S. Department of Transportation is awarding $11.36 million in airport safety and infrastructure grants to 19 airports across Louisiana.

Two million dollars of this year’s funding is going to Lake Charles Regional Airport. Executive Director Heath Allen explained how the money will be used.

“We’re actually adding a loading bridge to the other side," Allen said. "The additional loading bridge will allow us to you know [when we get additional flights or delays] that sort of thing we’ll be able to put the aircraft on that loading bridge.”

The goal is to ultimately see an additional airline utilizing that loading bridge. Allen said the funding will also help with a second project to extend the loading-unloading canopies in front of the terminal buildings.

“Right now, our canopies go up to the curb and that’s it but we’re planning for the canopies to go all the way out over the roadway," he said. "So, you’ll be completely covered while you’re unloading your luggage and everything.”

The two projects will total about $3 million and take more than a year to complete. Allen said this grant is a necessity for the success of the airport.

“In order to keep that facility great, we have to maintain it and enhance it so that’s number one," he said. "Number two, a lot of these projects are safety oriented first and foremost.”

Out of the 19 airports, Lake Charles is getting the second highest amount of the total award. The first- Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is receiving $2.6 million.

Chennault International Airport will use their grant money for taxiway lighting rehab and both Jennings and Leesville’s airports will make runway and taxiway sealing repairs.

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