Small Louisiana Airport Gets Nod to Expand

The St. John the Baptist Parish Council has given the final nod to a project that officials say will make the Reserve airport ripe for development.

Gerald Babin, an airport consultant, said the project -- financed by grants from the Federal Aviation Administration and the state Department of Transportation and Development -- will pave the ground for additional hangars. The parish Council signed off on the $477,000 construction last week.

Babin said aprons were built in both the south and north hangar complexes, which eventually will house 10 and six hangars respectively. The hangars will be sold or leased to private entities, St. John Airport Director Paul Oncale said.

"The more aprons, the more money that can come to the parish," said Oncale, adding that the project prepares the airport for increased use.

The aprons, a paved section where an aircraft can park or turn, are like roadways in a subdivision and lay the foundation for the growth of the parish airport, Babin said.

"We lay down the streets, and then they can come and build adjacent to the pavement," he said. "The more aircraft at the airport, the more opportunity you have for funding."

Babin said 10 hangars, in the south complex, are being built now. The other six, in the north complex, have been approved for construction.

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