Louisiana Regional Airport in Gonzales is set to nearly triple in size after a 28-acre land purchase this summer. The airport currently is home to about 100 aircraft on its 15 developed acres.
“We’ve built out every inch of that space,” airport manager Janet Gonzales tells Business Report in a feature from the current issue that takes a look at the state of regional airports in Louisiana.
The new land could fit another 200 planes, although Gonzales doesn’t expect to host that many. She does expect to see more corporate jets, which take up more space than smaller planes and will be well served by a runway that recently was lengthened. She says 29 people are on a waiting list for private hangars.
“We have the demand to build more,” she says. “Now we have the land, so we’re going to start that process.”
Louisiana Regional is one of two general aviation, public-use, noncommercial airports in the Baton Rouge area listed by the state Department of Transportation and Development; False River Regional Airport in New Roads is the other. There are also two such airports just outside the Capital Region in Hammond and St. John the Baptist Parish. The state has 62 general aviation airports in total, which are thought to contribute almost $1 billion to the state’s economy.
In Livingston Parish, plans are being discussed for a general aviation airport south of I-12 at Satsuma on land owned by developer Garry Lewis. Development is on hold, however, until disputes over the town’s boundaries are resolved.
The 68 public-use airports covered by a recent DOTD study generated more than $6.7 billion in annual economic output in 2011. Most of that value is attributed to the seven commercial airports, although the general aviation airports chipped in almost $967 million. False River’s economic impact was $10.3 million, the study shows, while Louisiana Regional’s was $14.5 million.