Chennault Airport invests $4m in air cargo

By Rebecca Jeffrey

Chennault International Airport cargo facility render. Source: Chennault International Airport

Chennault International Airport in Louisiana, US is nearing completion of a $4m facility to enter into the air cargo sector.

Construction of the 10,000 sq ft air cargo pass-through facility began in June 2021. It is expected to be completed this summer, according to Chennault Airport executive director Kevin Melton.

“We believe there is value for companies to move goods through Chennault,” said Melton. “We provide a low-cost alternative to the larger markets where expense, ground delays, and airspace delays affect the efficient flow of goods.”

The facility is anticipated to be certified for international cargo by federal agency U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

As the facility is being built, ongoing discussions are planned with potential ground handling partners on such related issues as ramp handling, warehouse operations and securing unique ground equipment to service large aircraft.

Construction is funded by a $3m capital outlay from the state and $1m from Chennault International Airport Authority funds.

Chennault, which is which is recognised as an emerging national aerospace hub, has retained air cargo consultant David Whitaker of DVW Aviation to help identify potential industry partners.

“Chennault is a very robust airport with enormous potential and Southwest Louisiana is a cargo-rich region of the world,” said Whitaker.

“Much of the industry is already familiar with Chennault and the Lake Charles Region, given its first-class MRO tenants — including Northrop Grumman, Million Air, LandLocked Aviation Services and Citadel Completions. Chennault offers relief to airlines and freight forwarders who need space and attention.”

Chennault International Airport’s runway is 10,700 ft long and 200 ft wide, with a newly refurbished parallel taxiway that has runway capabilities as well.

Chennault Airport to enter airfreight sector with $4m facility

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