South Lafourche Airport in “Excellent Condition”: Many Improvements since Port Commission Acquisition
(GALLIANO, LA) – The South Lafourche Leonard Miller, Jr. Airport has once again received an excellent Safety and Compliance Inspection report from Louisiana DOTD’s Aviation Division, following a trend of growth and improvement since the Greater Lafourche Port Commission (GLPC) acquired the airport in late 2001.
The report’s comments specifically mention the airport’s recently opened partial parallel taxiway and the Port Commission’s plans to extend it to full length. This taxiway is just one of the many projects implemented to improve the airport and open it up to larger aircraft traffic.
In the past eight years, the South Lafourche Airport has invested $20 million from GLPC, FAA, and LADOTD funding for improvements including installation of fuel tanks, paving of airport roadways,
construction of a 10,000 square foot hangar, and a runway expansion and overlay. The runway was expanded from 3800’x75’ to 6500’x100’, and the overlay increased maximum aircraft weight from 12,500 to 75,000 pounds. Thanks to these improvements, the airport is now capable of handling twenty-passenger jets, whereas its 2001 maximum aircraft capacity was 4-6 passenger piston-powered aircraft.
As a result of these aggressive improvements, the airport is showing aggressive growth. From 2008 to 2009, total aircraft activity at the South Lafourche Airport has increased 19%. Jason Duet, Manager of the South Lafourche Airport, reports that improvements continue, and the airport is in the process of beginning the second phase of an Instrument Landing System (ILS) that will serve as an additional navigational aid to pilots. This type of system is used at major commercial airports and is especially useful in inclement weather.
Port Director Chett Chiasson sees more and more organizations taking interest in the South Lafourche Airport, and he credits the Port Commission’s commitment to the airport’s expansion, its close proximity to Port Fourchon, and its location within the South Lafourche levee system. “It is on its way,” said Chiasson, “to becoming the economic hub that the commission thought it could be when it purchased the airport.”
The Port Commission also acquired 1,200 acres of additional property surrounding the airport for use as an industrial park. Property in the industrial park is currently being advertised. For more information on properties available at the South Lafourche airport, please contact Jason Duet, the Port Commission’s Airport Manager, at 985-632-1118 or visit the Port’s website at www.portfourchon.com.