Chennault International Airport, an emerging aerospace hub along the central U.S. Gulf Coast, has completed a $4 million air cargo facility that is now available for lease.

Air cargo facility development, incentives, and specialized ground equipment purchases – in addition to land acquisition and remediation, and taxiway improvements – has produced a first-rate, cargo-ready airport, its leadership team said. “We have worked tirelessly to remove entry barriers for the air cargo industry,” said Chennault Executive Director Kevin Melton. “We have made investments in facilities, established a rich incentive program, and we will invest in ground equipment to support the industry. We are committed to share the risk associated with new markets.”

“Chennault is deeply committed to attract commercial air cargo,” said David Whitaker of DVW Aviation Advisor, who is consulting for the initiative. “In addition to the new facility and strong incentives, the novel ground support equipment program alleviating a significant capital burden for the industry is most impressive.”

About the facility

The facility on the busy I-10 corridor between Houston and New Orleans includes a 1,000-square-foot office area and an expandable 9,000-square foot-warehouse. The adjacent aircraft parking apron is 127,000 square feet, able to accommodate all sizes of cargo aircraft. The facility was built to attract international cargo, in addition to domestic, and the airport will work with industry partners to help certify the building for international cargo clearance.

Incentives

Chennault is offering a package of air cargo incentives with a potential value of $300,000-plus, including two years of free rent on the new air cargo facility with a five-year commitment. The airport will also waive landing fees for all commercial air cargo landings for two years, reflecting its strong commitment to collaboration.

Ground equipment

The airport also has approved the acquisition of more than $500,000 for specialized air cargo ground equipment to mitigate a capital expense that otherwise can be a barrier to start-up activity. “The airport will work closely with industry partners regarding specific equipment needs for their operation and then help secure that equipment,” said Melton. “We are leaving no stone unturned.”

National site of choice

Chennault International Airport is a former U.S. Air Force base that is now a complex for aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services; high-end aircraft refinishing; and non-aerospace manufacturing. The major businesses at Chennault include Northrop Grumman, Citadel Completions, LandLocked Aviation Services, Louisiana Millwork/Masonite and Million Air. Chennault’s other advantages include its two-mile-long runway, its uncongested air and ground space, ongoing infrastructure improvements, and land available to expand.