August 2016


On and Off the Runway

Chennault Intl Airshow: Save The Date!


Hold on to your hats! The Chennault International Airshow will take to the skies April 28-30, 2017, and it promises to deliver another action-packed show. Audiences will see death-defying aerobatic acts by the best pilots in the business and thrilling ground performances. Keep an eye on for more information!

Tenant Spotlight: Louisiana Millwork

Chennault Airport is home to more than just airplanes; it is landlord to several prominent businesses that contribute to the Southwest Louisiana economy. 

Louisiana Millwork, which began as a start-up company in Southwest Louisiana in 2000, is a tenant of Chennault Airport as well as a major building materials manufacturer and supplier in the Louisiana and eastern Texas markets. The company employs approximately 100 people, and it operates as a distributor of doors, windows, stairways and distinctive columns to independently owned retail lumber and building material companies. 

As of 2005, Louisiana Millwork LLC operates as a subsidiary of Masonite International, Inc. To learn more, call Louisiana Millwork at 337-721-7676.

Chennault Receives $1.3 Million Grant For Alternate Runway Project

Workers lay asphalt during the project's final stage.

Workers lay asphalt during the project’s final stage.

Chennault International Airport has received a $1.3 million grant from the Department of Transportation for Chennault’s alternate runway project. The $11 million improvement will widen the taxiway and provide an alternate runway should the main runway be shut down for repairs. 

The grant will be dedicated toward the final phase of the project, which is expected to be completed by mid-August and includes laying asphalt, restriping the runway and installing lights. 

Marty Thompson Retires From Northrop Grumman

After a successful career at Northrop Grumman for nearly 30 years, Marty Thompson has announced his retirement from the aviation corporation. He worked as the site director of the Lake Charles maintenance and modification center and worked closely with the Southwest Louisiana community and local aviation industry.

Originally from Pico Rivera, Calif., Thompson came to Lake Charles in the mid-’90s before leaving in 2001 and returning to Lake Charles in 2010. As an engineer, he worked in facilities across the U.S. building and maintaining airplanes. He notes that the robust aviation industry in the Lake Charles area has helped enrich the community’s identity.

He worked directly on Northrop Grumman’s contracts for JSTARS and KC-10 aircraft, which are both vital assets for the U.S. Air Force. Earlier this year, Northrop Grumman celebrated the 150th delivery of a KC-10 aircraft. “The thing that makes me feel proud and kept me coming to work for 30 years is the ability to deliver these products to the military,” commented Thompson.

“I’d like to believe that, in some small way, we have a part to play in helping these people come home safely,” said Thompson.

Hankins Joins Board of Commissioners; Dufrene Retires From Board Service

HankinsBill Hankins (top) has been appointed to the Chennault board of commissioners. He recently retired from West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital where he served as vice president of business development. Hankins was raised in San Antonio, Texas, and he received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Trinity University in San Antonio. He worked as a top-ranking administrative officer for St. Patrick Hospital in Lake Charles, LSU Medical Center in Shreveport and St. Michael Hospital in Texarkana. Hankins has served on local boards, including the Greater Southwest Louisiana Chamber of Commerce, DufreneAmerican Heart Association and the Better Business Bureau of SWLA, among others. He serves as president of the Sowela Foundation board, His wife is Kathy Hankins, and they have three children and seven grandchildren.

Jane Dufrene (bottom) has announced that she will retire from Chennault International Airport Authority’s board of commissioners. Dufrene was appointed to the board in 2004; during her tenure, she served as president, vice president and secretary-treasurer. In addition to her duties with Chennault, she is a lifetime member of the Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association and is an active member of the community. Before retiring, Dufrene served as the Economic Development Director for Beauregard Electric Cooperative.

ReALLIEty Challenge Takes Over Chennault

ReALLIEtyLocals from across Southwest Louisiana fought their way through a 3.5-mile “War Zone” at the annual ReALLIEty Challenge, which took place on the grounds of Chennault International Airport on April 16. The obstacle course has become greatly popular, and it’s designed to simulate a military training course. The event raises funds for the nonprofit organization Mission Continues and helps to expand its mission to aid veterans looking for employment upon return from their service. To learn more, visit

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