Lake Charles Regional Airport completes construction of new terminal canopies

Published: Sep. 26, 2023 at 11:53 AM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The Lake Charles Regional Airport has announced that it has completed the construction of its new passenger terminal departure and arrival canopies. The new canopies span all three lanes of traffic, allowing passengers to arrive and depart without worrying about inclement weather.

The new canopies had been on the agenda for quite some time prior to the airport receiving $1 million in federal funding in 2022 through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. However, the primary source of funding was provided by Federal and State aviation trust funds.

The canopy project, which cost a total of $4,125,041 was designed by Micael Baker International and constructed by a local contractor Alfred Palma, L.L.C.

“This project was primarily funded through the federal aviation administration in the state of Louisiana, both of which have an aviation trust fund, which is funded through aviation user fees and taxes on tickets and fuel and things like that,” Heath Allen, director of the Lake Charles Regional Airport said.

Allen says one of the shortcomings that the airport always had was a lack of canopies that span over all three traffic lanes in the terminal loading and unloading area.

“So we didn’t do much in the way of widening the lanes, we’ve always had three lanes on our curb, however they were not covered, so if you pulled up and it was pouring down, like today we could have some rain, this afternoon. you had to unload in the rain or in the weather.”

Allen says when designing the structure they wanted something that would not impact the unique architecture of the existing terminal, he says the canopies were built to withstand the strong winds that take place during hurricanes.

“The most impressive thing to me was the footings that went in the ground so a huge part of this canopy you wont every see so its 45 feet deep and the circumference is something like 8--10 foot wide of concrete and steel structure in the ground. "

The airport remained open the entire time of construction, which made it a challenging project.

“Anytime you do construction at the front door of the terminal building as we call this, its a challenge, but fortunately we were able to get it done and we are pleased with the outcome,” Allen said.

As for what is next for the airport, Allen says a parking lot expansion will begin construction this winter.