New executive director for Chennault International Airport named

Published: Apr. 4, 2018 at 1:26 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 4, 2018 at 4:52 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A new executive director of Chennault International Airport Authority is coming aboard in late April.

The board of commissioners announced the selection of W. Kevin Melton as Chennault's executive director.

Melton joins Chennault from American Airlines, where he was a project manager, facilitating and directing airport terminal and hangar construction projects for national and international sites.

Melton retired from the U.S. Air Force as a colonel after 24 years of service, during which he was part of the Pentagon's Joint Staff.  His primary experience is as an airfield operations officer, responsible for all airport operations, including air traffic control, airfield management and flight service operations. He served as lead for the U.S. Department of Defense to support the rebuilding of Iraqi and Afghan civic airspace infrastructure as part of nation rebuilding operations.

"Kevin's wealth of experience in aviation and the airport operations will be invaluable to Chennault," said Chennault board president Charles Dalgleish. "The board and staff look forward to Chennault's continued growth as a leading economic driver in the region with Kevin at the helm."

Melton also brings airshow experience to his new position, having provided direct support to several airshows, and served as military airshow director for the Dayton Airshow in Ohio.

A native Tennessean, Melton holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Middle Tennessee State University as well as a master's degree in national resource strategy from the National Defense University.

Chennault International Airport is a major industrial airport in Lake Charles, La. The airport and its tenants employ some 1,500 persons and account for $300 million in annual economic impact. Chennault was recently honored as Louisiana Airport of the Year by the Federal Aviation Administration. For more information, visit

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