Wednesday, July 17, 2013
ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH – A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the St. John Airport in Reserve on Friday, July 12 celebrating the completion of the new 1,151 feet runway extension. Port of South Louisiana (PSL) Executive Director Joel Chaisson, PSL Board of Commissioners President Louis Joseph, Airport Director Kent Greene and LA DOTD Aviation Director Brad Brandt, were joined by a crowd of Port employees and Commissioners, Parish Council Members, Administrative Staff and a host of other elected officials, community members and local business owners from the River Region.
The newly constructed extension will greatly contribute to the economic development of the parish by allowing larger aeronautical cargo traffic to utilize the St. John Airport. “The future of the Airport looks bright,” said Commission President Louis Joseph. “It’s a good day for St. John, St. Charles and St. James Parishes.” DOTD's Brad Brandt reiterated the importance and significance of the runway extension when saying, “a mile of highway will take one just a mile, but a mile of runway will take one anywhere in the world.” In what seemed to be his last official speech as Executive Director, Judge Chaisson expounded on the importance of continuing to expand the airport, “we have a huge opportunity here to have a first class airport for cargo and I don’t believe we are finished. I would love to see the airport continue to grow along Airline Highway.”
Councilman District IV Marvin Perrilloux said, “When I was first elected I knew the St. John Airport would be a goldmine and I am so happy to see it doing so well.” Construction of the extension started on November 21, 2012 and was completed by May 22, 2013. The St. John Airport is located one mile from Globalplex Intermodal Terminal and handles air cargo, business aircraft and intermodal transfer. It also offers other amenities such as rental cars, public telephones, vending machines and wireless internet access. “This is a huge economic development initiative for not only the Port of South Louisiana, but St. John Parish as a whole,” said Council District V Michael Wright. The Airport was recognized as Outstanding Louisiana Airport in 2004 by the Federal Aviation Administration. Wright added, "I commend the Port for all of their diligent efforts in the runway expansion and look forward to its economic success.”