Support the LA Tech Flight Team - 2/17/19


In May 2019, Louisiana Tech's Precision Flight Team is attending the NIFA National Flight Competition in Wisconsin. We are excited to represent LA Tech and the State of Louisiana by competing against some of the best flight schools in the country! The organization is accepting any and all support that can be given, all donations are appreciated.

The money donated will enable the team to purchase trip necessities such as transportation, lodging, and other associated fees. If we do not reach our goal, or cannot attend NIFA Nationals for another unrelated reason, a full refund will be given to all who donate.

To donate click HERE

Aviation Art Winners


The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, Aviation Section recently held an art competition entitled, “My Dream to Fly”. Tisa Hill’s art students at Central Lafourche High School competed in the competition and the results are as follows:

State Winners: Diane Pina, Madison Larousse, Aaliyah Staples and Fayleigh Courteau.

In addition to being state winners Diane Pina and Madison Larousse’s work will move on to the national competition (National Coalition for Aviation and Space Education) being held in Washington, D.C.

This is a great honor due to the fact Central Lafourche has 2 of the 3 entries going to the national competition.

Leonardo Helicopters Opens Support Facility - 2/17/19


Leonardo Helicopters opened a new customer support facility yesterday in Broussard, Louisiana, bringing the number of such centers in the Americas to four. The 21,000-sq-ft repair and warehouse facility is situated on a two-acre site and will initially employ 15, provide 24/7 customer support, stock a wide variety of helicopter parts, and provide a far-ranging menu of repair services, including blade repair and mobile blade repair. It also includes space for sales, tech reps, and engineering support. Three tech reps will be based there. 

The Gulf Coast Support Center is strategically positioned to support the approximately 90 AW139 intermediate twins, 40 AW119 singles, and numerous AW109 light twins operating in the region, according to Michael Hotze, Leonardo’s vice president of customer support and training for AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corp. Regional customers include major offshore energy helicopter service companies Arrow Aviation, Bristow Group, ERA, and PHI. 

“We’re here to be closer to our customers,” said Hotze. “This facility is here not just to support the oil-and-gas guys. It will support customers in the entire lower 48 states.” Hotze said employment at Broussard will likely double within 18 months. “Customers are really excited.” 

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Brief Illness Claims Shreveport Director - 2/17/19



Bill Cooksey, 53, died Tuesday following a valiant battle against multiple health issues that began a few months ago.

Cooksey, a former Shreveport Times reporter, joined Shreveport Regional in 1999 as its marketing and public relations director.

In 2012, Cooksey was named Shreveport Regional Airports' deputy airport director, a position he held until his death.

A 1983 graduate of Parkway High School, Cooksey earned his bachelor’s degree at LSUS in 1988.

He is survived by his wife Donna, daughters Taylor and Farron, and son Josh. For info on funeral services click HERE


BEW February Newsletter - 2/8/19


To read the February Newsletter of the Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force click…. HERE

LFT Terminal Construction Underway - 2/8/19


Construction is underway for the new terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport.

The airport’s executive director tells KATC, support structures are going in the ground next month.

“We’re actually going to start driving test piles this month,” Director Steven Picou said. “They sit for approximately 30 days and then in March we’ll actually start putting in permanent piles.”

He hopes the renovations will accommodate their growth in passengers.

“This year we had a 10 percent increase about 451,000 passengers came through Lafayette Regional Airport,” Picou said. “We’re hoping that trend continues to move forward.

The project is expected to be complete in two years.

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Keeping the B-52’s Looking Good - 2/8/19


It's the airmen from the Barksdale Air Force Base's Metal Sheet Shop that keep the huge aircraft picture perfect. Essentially they are in charge of the skin of the aircraft.

When it's time, they bring in all 32 pieces of the plane's cowling and inspect each one by one, inch by inch. They fix cracks, change rivets and even paint the B-52.

"It's our shop's responsibility to bring each piece into the shop. We do a visual inspection and a tap to look for loose fasteners, cracks, anything that might be missing on the piece,"  said Cliff.

The B-52 has several models. The first test model was built in 1952. But the one you see most often flying in and out of Barksdale is the H model -- also known as the Cadillac of B-52's because of its many upgrades.

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Corbin Joins Metro Aviation - 1/29/19


Metro Aviation is pleased to welcome Stewart Corbin to the team as he steps into a new role as Customer Communication Center Training Manager.  Within the same vein of Metro’s Transport Business Services and Customer Revenue Cycle Support, Stewart will provide yet another value-added service to Metro’s operations customers.

“Stewart will provide industry-leading training at our customers’ communication centers, both onsite and at the Metro Aviation CommLab,” said Metro Aviation Director of Operations Jim Arthur. “Additionally, he will add his expertise to operational assessments, recommendations to align with industry best practices, and onsite support for any Metro Aviation customer in need of this beneficial service.”

Stewart most recently served as the Vice President of MedComm Dispatching Services, where he was instrumental in the day-to-day operations of the company.  His 23-year career with MedComm includes time as a communication specialist and director, with experience in rotor-wing, fixed-wing and ground services. 

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UNO Moving Toward Professional Pilot Degree


The University of New Orleans this year has moved one step closer to offering a new degree program that will prepare students for a career in the field of aviation.

The Louisiana Board of Regents, the state’s top higher education board, last month approved a new professional pilot bachelor of science program at UNO, according to a university news release on Monday (Jan. 28). UNO will be allowed to begin accepting applications for the degree program only after the program is approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, which is UNO’s regional accrediting body.

The new program will be located within UNO’s College of Business Administration, UNO stated. In a statement, John Williams, dean of the Business Administration college, said the program will extend the vision of UNO as “an engine of economic development of the region.”

“Our professional pilot program will provide a diverse air space system environment that will expose our students to a wide variety of real world challenges, resulting in highly sought-after graduates,” Williams stated.

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EAA Chapter 261 Holiday Get Together


The annual EAA New Orleans Chapter 261 Holiday Get Together was held Saturday, Dec. 22, at Lakefront Airport Terminal. It was a scrumptious lunch in the Walnut Room, surrounded by Art Deco architecture, and attended to by Messina’s marvelous staff.

The elected officers for 2019 are: Ken Knevel, President; Don Ortego, Vice President; Buddy Hunter, Secretary; and Malcolm Hartman, Treasurer. It was reported that since Katrina, 265 Young Eagles have attended the cookout, toured the tower, and flown the city circuit – the highest number in the LA/MS/AL tri-state region. The spring Young Eagles event will be held May 11, 2019. Hope to see everyone then.

Also, everyone is reminded to complete, and send to Malcolm Hartman, the attached pdf fillable 2019 membership form and pay your dues, either by check or using the PayPal link below:

EAA Chapter 261 2019 Membership Dues - $30.00:  Click Here to Pay

Happy New Year –


EAA Chapter 261 President

Planning Commission to Consider New BTR Airport Hangars


The Planning Commission will consider plans for a new jet center—with three hangars for lease—at the Baton Rouge Metro Airport at Tuesday’s meeting.

Along with the three hangars, the Williams Jet Center will also have a taxiway connection and a fixed-base operation, or FBO, that provides fuel for private aircraft and passenger and crew amenities. The 20,000-square-foot center will be built off of Veterans Memorial Boulevard, near the Canada Street intersection.  

The project is being developed by property owner Lanny Lewis, of LWL Builders. Lewis could not be reached by this afternoon’s deadline for more information.

If approved Tuesday, construction is expected to begin in March and be completed by December, according to plans submitted to city-parish planning staff.

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Louisiana Native Receives FAA Award


New Orleans, Louisiana native John L. Peroyea, II. experienced his first airplane ride at 15.  That was the beginning of a 50 year span of a love affair with aviation. John immediately began flight lessons at New Orleans Lakefront Airport and earned his Private and Commercial Pilot Certificates before beginning college as a Professional Aviation major at Louisiana Tech University where he secured his Instrument Rating, Commercial Multi, CFI, CFII and landed a job as a flight instructor on staff at the University. John quickly earned his GOLD SEAL Flight Instructor status, and became the Assistant Chief Flight Instructor at Louisiana Tech.  At the age of 21, the Federal Aviation Administration awarded John the Flight Instructor of the Year District Award.  

John left college early, and in his senior year he accepted a position as Corporate fixed wing pilot at Petroleum Helicopters. Within a year he earned his Commercial Helicopter rating and became the Assistant Director of Flight Safety for what was at the time the largest commercial helicopter company in the world, PHI.

John left his aviation job to satisfy an entrepreneurial spirit, investing in radio broadcast stations, the first of which were in Louisiana. While he enjoyed many successes in his businesses for over 44 years, he always remained active in the aviation world. Always owning and operating airplanes, 


John kept his Flight Instructor ratings current for the last 46 years, and has served as an Accident Prevention Counselor and Wings Safety Team Representative for the FAA for over 40 years. John is a also a licensed A&P Mechanic and has Inspector Authorization.

Two years ago John completed his degree from Louisiana Tech University earning a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aviation and a Minor in Aviation Management, and just this year earned his Airline Transport Pilot rating. He’s retired from the broadcasting business now, and thoroughly enjoys a position at Flight Safety International Dallas as a Pilot Instructor and an FAA appointed Designated Examiner and Training Center Evaluator. John serves on the Board

of Directors of the Industry Advisory Board of the Professional Aviation Department of Louisiana Tech University.

In celebration of 50 years from the date he first soloed at New Orleans Lakefront Airport, John has now been honored to be presented the FAA’s Wright Brothers “Master Pilot Award” for his FIFTY years of dedicated service, technical expertise, professionalism and many outstanding contributions to further the cause of aviation safety…… He is now officially one of only 1400

aviators to receive the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award.


AOPA Hangar Talk Episode 61: Mason Andrews

Jan 11, 2019

Flying around the world is a great accomplishment. Doing it at 18 years old is simply incredible. Hear the experience of earthrounder Mason Andrews and stick around for the week's headlines.

To read more Click Here


Pilots for Patients Flies 4500th Mission - 1/28/19

Pilots for Patients is pleased to announce the completion of our 4,500th Mission! It is through the Grace of God and the immense amount of support and help from our volunteers and pilots that we have reached this incredible milestone.

Volunteer pilot Troy landed in Monroe on January 18th, 2019, flying patients Bob and Steve along with companions Amy and Cindy from Houston to Monroe, completing our 4,500th mission.

We could not thank everyone enough for supporting our organization and aiding us in reaching this incredible milestone. Now that we have made it to 4,500 missions, we will continue to reach to the skies and beyond to grow this ministry of helping others. We can't wait to see what God has planned for us!


CAP Looking for Members - 1/28/19

Attention all pilots and aviation enthusiasts:

Civil Air Patrol New Orleans, is looking for people that want to fly with us! LA-076 based out of Lakefront Airport, has many opportunity for pilots, future pilots and anyone that loves to fly. CAP is the USAF Aux. and is America’s largest volunteer Air Force. If you’re interested, contact Ops O,XO Lt. Col. Lester Cambre Jr. for more information. 504-415-9726

AOPA Article on Mason Andrews = 1/9/19

Great article from AOPA on Louisiana pilot Mason Andrews…..



January 9, 2019 By David Tulis

Eighteen-year-old Mason Andrews circumnavigated the Earth in his family’s PA–32 Piper Lance during a 76-day solo flight for charity from July 22 to Oct. 6, 2018. He named the green-and-white N7278C the Spirit of Louisiane in a modern-day nod to Charles Lindbergh’s history-making Atlantic Ocean-crossing flight in the Spirit of St. Louis.

“I’ve always been inspired by Charles Lindbergh and read most of his books,” said the Louisiana Tech University professional aviation program student and instrument-rated pilot. His plan was to fly the 3,500-mile transoceanic flight to bring awareness for MedCamps of Louisiana, an outreach that provides free summer camps to those who have Down Syndrome; Spina Bifida; developmental disabilities; or hearing, speech, or visual impairments. The trip raised over $33,000 for the charity, “and since then, even more has rolled in.”

To read more click….HERE


Latest MSY Newsletter

To read the latest New Orleans International Airport newsletter click HERE

The new terminal is now nearly 90 percent complete. Visible in the aerial is the progress on paving of the west surface parking lot and the airport roadway system. On the east side of the terminal, piles are being driven for the long-term parking garage. On the interior of the building, furniture and signage installation is underway, and the concessions build out is ramping up.


Open house: Metro’s Helicopter Flight Training Center

If you’re involved with the air medical industry, you would pretty much have to have been hiding under a rock these recent years to not have noticed the incredible growth of Shreveport, Louisiana’s Metro Aviation. One key reason for this sustained and successful growth is that Metro’s founder, Mike Stanberry, has the ability to predict the needs of the company well in advance and come up with innovative ways — in house — to meet those needs.

Since its founding in 1982, Metro Aviation has grown to comprise four different enterprises: an air medical operations division, a completions center, the satellite tracking and technology company Outerlink Global Solutions, and the Helicopter Flight Training Center (HFTC). It is the training center that is the focus of this report.

Stanberry saw the need for increased training resources, not only for Metro’s growing flight operations but for the industry at large. And so, in October 2012, he hired Terry Palmer away from her post at FlightSafety International (FSI) to build a flight training center from the ground up (see p.26, Vertical 911, Spring 2014).

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Private Pilot Ground School Starting

Aviation Specialists, Inc (ASI) will offer a Private Pilot Ground School starting Wednesday nite Jan 23. Classes will meet weekly for 16 weeks in the ASI Hangar at LaRegional from 6-8pm.  Jeppesen Private Pilot Course taught and more. Cost $400.


Mickey Marchand, Instructor


Last of the Monroe Flying Tigers Has Died

Maj. Richard "Dick" Sherman died early Wednesday at the Northeast Louisiana War Veterans Home at the age of 96. 

Sherman was the last local member of the Flying Tigers, a American Volunteer Group of the Chinese Air Force that remained under the United States president's authority. Gen Claire Lee Chennault commanded the group of pilots form the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. The fighter squadrons flew missions over China during World War II to hold back the Japanese from 1941 to 1942.

In a 2013 interview with The News-Star, Sherman said he remembered walking out of the movie theater when news of Pearl Harbor was spreading.

“I don’t remember what the movie was but I was coming out with my parents when we heard the news,” Sherman said. “I knew all hell was going to break loose.”

Sherman trained as a bombardier and navigator for B-25 bombers, and served in the 11th Bomb Squadron. He flew 52 missions over China in 13 months.

He was shot down once on Feb. 13, 1944.

He was the recipient of many honors including the Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Medal, the Asian Ribbon, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Purple Heart.

"We've lost one of our heroes, for sure," said Nell Calloway, Chennault's granddaughter and CEO of the Chennault Aviation and Military Museum. Calloway said Sherman was the last of the Flying Tigers in this area. Some other members of the 14th Air Force around the country are still aliveCalloway said Sherman was a hero for his service to the U.S. and is a hero to the Chinese people. He continued to serve fellow veterans by being a founding member of the Chennault Aviation and Military Museum.

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BEW January Newsletter - 1/7/19

To read the January, 2019, Newsletter of the Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force just click...HERE


New LFT Terminal Under Construction - 1/3/19

The new Lafayette Airport Terminal’s construction is underway with permits recently filed to move forward. In August of 2018, the old historical hanger that stood in the way of progress was demolished.

While you aren’t able to see much at the moment in terms of structure, the Lafayette Airport website features a really neat conceptual tour video of the new 110,000 square-foot terminal that is set to be completed in the year 2022. For more on the new Lafayette Airport Terminal, see our most recent (post).

Below are still shots from the video, as well as the video itself. We’ve added music to the 3-minute long video. You’re welcome.                                                   

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Air Reldan Moved to Slidell - 1/10/19

We have finally made the move. We are at the Slidell Municipal Airport! Wonderful hangar and office space. Leaving behind 15 years at the St. Tammany Regional Airport in Abita Springs, where we made many lifelong friends. Prior to Abita, we started Air Reldan at New Orleans Lakefront Airport in 1982. That’s 36 years ago. We have a great crew working with us and ready to 

FLY HIGH in 2019. 

Please stop by and check out our new Cockpit (office).


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An Airport Monument - 1/6/19


An airport is just like a small town.  The citizens spend a lot of time there (just ask my wife).  They celebrate the highs together (literally) and they grieve together to get through the tough times.  They are a true brotherhood and sisterhood of flight.  When one of their citizens goes west, they want to do something to remember them.

After losing another very good friend at my home base, doing something to remember him, plus several other friends that have gone before, is high on my list.  So what are the options?  

  1. Name Something at the Airport After Them -  You could name a street, hangar or room after them.  Maybe even name the whole airport after them like Paul Fournet at Lafayette.  
  2. Make a Donation in Their Name - For example, an old friend of mine passed away recently at a nearby airport and his friends decided to buy a brick in his name at the WW II Museum.  
  3. Build a Monument - This was recently done at another airport for another friend of mine.  Amazingly, they raised several thousand dollars in a very short period of time and the airport agreed to give them a place to build it.

(Continued in next column)


These are all really nice ways to honor someone but I think there are some issues with all of them.  

For number 1, not many of us are going to have an airport named after us.  Even if they did, some politicians can come along later and change the name of the airport from an aviator to a jazz musician. I know it seems far fetched but it could actually happen.  Likewise if you name a street, hangar or room after folks then eventually you run out of things to name.  Maybe they will name a bathroom after me - but I digress.

For number 2, while it is a great way to honor and remember someone at a reasonable expense it’s just not at the airport.

For number 3, while it’s probably the ultimate thing to do it is a big financial hurdle to raise significant funds every time someone passes.  Plus you have to keep asking the airport to give you another patch of real estate.

So what I’m thinking is a modified version of Number 3.  Instead of building a monument for just one person, let’s build one where we can just add bricks, granite tiles, or brass plaques with their name on it at a very reasonable expense when someone passes.  That way we only have to raise the significant funds once, get one small piece of real estate from the airport and family/friends can add the name of their loved one for less than $100.

(Continued in next column)


You’re probably asking at this point why I’m explaining this to all of you and why don’t I just get on with it.  Well, I want to know to know if I’m missing something and if there is a better idea out there.  Maybe you might have seen something like that and can share some ideas/photos of a nice design.  Also with our big network there might be someone reading this that is in the monument business or knows someone in the business.  Finally, you might want to do something similar at your airport so we could share designs…. maybe even save some money by having the same company build several of them at the same time.

So let’s hear what you’re thinking…

PS:  The picture of the first monument with the three bladed propeller is probably much bigger and more elaborate than what I’m thinking but looks great.  I’m thinking something more like the size of the one in the second picture made from a rock that is a good example of one where individual names can be added.  It could also have a single propeller blade or something else to make it aeronautical like the one in the final picture.

The Man Behind DaveAir - 1/3/19


Meet the man behind DaveAir, LLC, David McGee! After spending many of his years growing up around planes, David decided to pursue a career in aviation and graduated from NLU with a Bachelor's in Aviation Business. He then went on to become an AirForce mechanic. His first professional job as a pilot was running a freight operation on a multi-engine craft in Alaska. He describes the Alaskan flight terrain as an "aviation playground." After his experiences in Alaska, David became an Ameristar Jet Charter pilot where he got two type ratings with jet experience. David then turned to a career in crop dusting for 14 years, establishing DaveAir in January of 2006. Today David is a Certified Flight Instructor at Monroe Regional Airport and the owner and operator of DaveAir, LLC. Let him help you take flight!

Please call 381.9392 or message us for any questions or to reserve your flight time!     

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Flying Wings of Louisiana - 1/2/19


Flying Wings of Louisiana was approved November 2, 2018 as a non-profit 501(c)(3)  organization.  Flying Wings goal is to ensure that pediatric cancer patients will always have access to the regional medical care they need. By providing free air transportation to the patient and a family member, Flying Wings will provide a safe and comfortable flight at no charge to the families.   We are planning and training and will fly our first patient in 2019. 

Flying Wings is looking for experienced pilots who wish to make a difference by volunteering their skills to fly children and a parent to cancer treatments and appointments. If you are interested please contact us at

Have Questions? You can contact them for more information at (225) 436-9199​.

They are also raffling off a brand new boat to provide funds for their organization.  Click the button to buy tickets.

Buy Tickets

Big Year for Big Easy Wing - 1/1/19


The Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force had a memorable 2018 as this photo collage shows.  To see a larger version of this collage click HERE.

For more info go to......

BEW Website

DOTD Aviation Art Contest - 12/7/18


DOTD has an annual art contest. Encourage a young artist to enter the 2019 Louisiana Aviation Art Contest. This year’s theme is “My Dream to Fly” - entries are due Friday, January 18, 2019.  

Find out more

Fly In Charlotte's Chariot II - 12/20/18


Is flying in a WWII P-51 Mustang on your Bucket List! Well the Southern Heritage Air Foundation can now make that dream come true! Rides are $1995.00.

Go ahead, and purchase yours. We can get it scheduled after January 2nd and start your 2019 with a check on your bucket list!

Click to Buy

BEW December Newsletter - 12/4/18


The BIg Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force has just published their December newsletter.  They have their Christmas Social coming up on December 15 and if you are interested in joining that would be a great time to visit and get to know the members.  

Click to Read

Scouts Earn Aviation Merit Badge - 12/8/18


Scouts from Troop 55 spent last Saturday earning the Aviation Merit Badge at the Abbeville Chris Crusta Memorial Airport  (KIYA). Scoutmaster Jimmy Lewis, who just got his PPL in April, organized the event with the help of Professional Pilot Matt Wolf.

Lewis said, “They climbed around a Citation jet and a King Air turboprop.  Everyone was quizzing Matt who flies all of them for his clients.  We couldn’t fly today but everyone took a turn taxing around the airport.

Thanks to everyone who was able to brave the weather and come out. I really enjoy sharing the excitement of flying. We might have a few future pilots.”

(Editor’s Note:  First I want to thank Jimmy for sharing aviation with these scouts.  I also want to encourage the rest of you to do something like Jimmy did to share aviation with folks young and old.  And when you do, take a picture or two and send it to me with a little information.  We all like to see things like this plus it will encourage others to do same.  Thanks.)

EAA Chapter 261 Young Eagles Event - 11/17/18


The rain-date Young Eagles event last Saturday was another premier success! Though the Boy Scouts couldn’t make it, 18 youngsters, including NOLA Homeschooling Heroes and others, revelled in the aerial city tour (most flying for the very first time). They also inspected the highly competent workings of the Lakefront Control Tower, and dined on scrumptious hamburgers and hotdogs and cookies – oh my! A hearty thank you to pilots, Tim Walsh, and Steve Schwarz, expert commanders of their aircraft and flights; grill master, C.J. Gallo; Toby Burroughs, COO, who brought the whole thing together; and Don Ortego, who dutifully shepherded the students to and from the control tower with nary a knee scrape.

Also, special appreciation to the dedicated professionals at the Lakefront Control Tower, and the unique accommodations by the Airport Operations personnel. All went smoothly, without a glitch.

Our next Young Eagles event will be spring of 2019. Will be sure to let you know - hope to see you then.

Thanks -

Ken Knevel

EAA Chapter 261 President

KAPS Upgrades Reflect Regions Growth -11/7/18


Aucoin: Airport upgrades reflect region’s growth, impact

The Port of South Louisiana Executive Regional Airport has come a long way. 

Only a few short years ago it was known primarily as a general aviation and recreational airport.

However, today, after incorporating a number of improvements and capital projects that have increased its viability and attractiveness to pilots and business passengers throughout the United States, this growing airport has become an aerial gateway to the River Parishes community.

Many officers and executives of plants and industries located throughout the area now consider the Executive Regional Airport as a preferred local alternative to driving the extensive distances associated with landing in New Orleans or Baton Rouge.

In addition, contractors such as engineers, architects and even the customers of these industries are now using the Executive Regional Airport to access the River Parishes.

This transformation and additional use has, without question, had an economic impact on the local community. Enhanced access by air results in creation of new jobs.