view the Flight Lines newsletter
Becoming a Hub of Aerospace, Commerce
Chennault International Airport had a busy 2018. We secured a major new tenant, acquired Mallard Cove Golf Course, and reopened our newly renovated runway, to name a few milestones.
This year is proving to be equally as challenging and exciting. We’re gearing up now for some big events like the Chennault International Airshow and the Southwest Hot Air Balloon Festival happening here over the next several months.
Our day-to-day efforts have been focused on fostering a culture of excellence and building a solid foundation for what we believe will be substantial future growth. It’s a collaborative effort, and we have our community to thank for Chennault’s momentum and continued success.
Our Culture: Safety, Efficiency, Innovation
Safe, compliant airport operations founded on benchmark services to support our tenants today and those that we seek for the future — that statement sums up the mission and vision for Chennault International Airport.
The airport is proud to host upwards of 1,500 employees across six various organizations that call Chennault their home base for operations. Our 30 Chennault employees oversee, maintain, and ensure re-capitalization of $138 million in facilities to keep our current tenants happy and attract new business for our community.
It takes much effort and planning to maintain our two-mile-long runway, 60 acres of concrete, nine hangars and various other facilities. We continue to work with our current tenants to ensure their operational needs are always at the forefront.
We also work continuously with the Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration to enforce compliance and safety — our #1 priority.
We’re Preparing for the Future
A marketing and real estate agreement for Chennault Park is under way with Dallas-based Cushman & Wakefield and Louisiana-based NAI Latter and Blum. These teams of seasoned professionals with international connections have just launched their initial marketing efforts. We are confident they will find and bring companies that are the right fit to build and grow at Chennault.
In tandem, our engineering and development consultants, CSRS and KSA, are completing environmental studies, due-diligence studies, and access and infrastructure master planning.
These efforts articulate our infrastructure capabilities and address additional requirements prior to construction. We expect to complete a majority of these efforts early spring, then share our findings with community leadership.
Chennault’s ability to continue its rapid growth efforts will be a team effort–a cross-sectional team from the state level to the local community.
We Bring the Community Together
Chennault is proud to once again host the Chennault International Airshow May 10-12. The weekend is anticipated to start with Friday’s opening remarks by Gov. John Bel Edwards and will culminate in a fantastic display of aerial artistry with a backdrop of lights.
Saturday’s events will open with Mayor Nic Hunter. Sunday’s opening remarks will come from state Senator Ronnie Johns.
Our weekend of family fun will center on aviation with a focus on education and history. Our lineup includes the Air Force’s F-16 demonstration, the Phillips 66 Aerostars, Red Bull’s aerobatic helicopter and parachute team, various heritage aircraft demonstrations, and plenty of ground exhibits and food.
Other events are planned at Chennault this year as well. We invite you follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on our community events.
A Thought Before Takeoff
Chennault has global reach! Our airport is one of very few in the region and state that provides the services and capability to enable aircraft to depart and fly nonstop to many places on the other side of the world.
That is a capability we are proud of—and one we will continue to work hard to sustain and improve for our community, region and state.
Citadel Completions in National Spotlight
Citadel Completions began operations at Chennault Park in fall 2018, providing high-end modifications and maintenance to wide-body aircraft for VVIP clients (Very Very Important People).
Sheldon Adelson, president of Citadel Completions LLC, told Business Aviation magazine he’s “very happy with our decision” to land at Chennault.
The Lake Charles operation was the magazine’s cover story this winter, headlined “The Sky is the Limit.” In a five-page profile of Adelson and Citadel, the magazine recounted the creation and operations of this industry pacesetter that’s based right here at Chennault.
“My aviation team and I came to the conclusion that there was a clear opening in the market for a company that could do the job better, faster and to a higher standard,” said Adelson, who is well-known nationally for his real estate, casino and other enterprises. “I’ve found great success in my career by continually challenging and changing the status quo—regardless of the business or the industry.”
As for locating at Chennault, Adelson told the magazine, “We had a considerable level of confidence that by putting a stellar leadership team in place, hiring the best technicians and craftsmen, and investing in a great location equipped with the most modern facilities, we could deliver an outstanding ‘VVIP’ completion in significantly less time without sacrificing quality.”
Chennault Park: The Future is Now
Marketing efforts have just launched for Chennault Park—the umbrella name for the ever-growing home base for leading companies in aircraft MRO, manufacturing, transportation and service industries.
The massive adjacent airport infrastructure, coupled with large parcels of available land, make Chennault Park idea for new tenants in aviation and other industries. What is already a world-class business community — it’s the home base for top companies in aerospace and other industries—has room for new development. Top features include:
• LED-certified sites.
• 1.5 million square feet of building/hangar space.
• Low utility and lease costs.
• 60 acres of usable concrete.
• 10,701-foot runway.
• Nearly 700 acres of land available.
Chennault Park consists of a series of massive hangars and hundreds of acres of undeveloped land. Current tenants include Northrop Grumman, Landlocked Aviation Services, Citadel Completions, Louisiana Millwork (Masonite), Million Air, Bechtel, Habitat for Humanity, Luke’s RV and Tadlock LLC.
Get Ready for the Airshow
The 2019 Kia of Lake Charles Chennault International Airshow, presented by Phillips 66, promises to be the newest and freshest show in years—with more first-time performers than ever.
It all takes place Friday through Sunday, May 10-12, at Chennault. The events begin with a spectacular Friday night show with lights and conclude with the Sunday salute—on Mother’s Day—to women in aviation.
Even the always-popular jet appearance has a new twist this year. It’s the F-16 “Viper” fighter—and its state-of-the-art technology will be shown off by the official F-16 Viper Demo Team. Other performers include the Phillips 66 Aerostars and the Red Bull helicopter and jump team.
Daredevil stunts, eye-popping aerobatics and breathtaking air demonstrations—including wing-walking by the talented Ashley Shelton. Those watching from the ground will have plenty to see and do, such as robotics demonstrations, a virtual reality experience, S.T.E.M. tent and our kids zone.
This Summer: Up, Up and Away
The Southwest Louisiana Hot Air Balloon Festival will be aloft July 19-20 in the Chennault skies.
This new event will feature tethered hot air balloon rides, beer tasting and a beer competition, two nights of fireworks, concerts, a kids’ zone, food and craft vendors, and a barbecue competition.
“A first for Chennault and the local area, this aviation-focused event will be a great family and multi-day opportunity,” said Kevin Melton, Chennault executive director. “It will light up the night skies and be a beautiful sight on Saturday morning as our area plays host to the many hot air balloons that will gently lift into the morning sky.”
He added, “We also want our local educators to capitalize on this opportunity to teach our students about the history of aviation with hands-on teaching moments and as such, promoters will offer opportunities to bring students out to the airport to receive presentations on the science of hot air ballooning.”
Pancake Breakfast Fly-In
Free food and good company! Load upon on pancakes and sausage with fellow aviators and get a shot at some great door prizes—like a 3-day Family Pass to the Chennault International Airshow and a Yeti ice chest.
Chennault is in the process of growing our general aviation footprint, and a key part of that is building relationships with aviators. Attendees are welcome to drive or fly in. Food and ramp fees are on us.