Aucoin: First transient hangar opens at Reserve airport

Published 2:36 pm Thursday, November 2, 2017

Yesterday, Airport Director Vincent Caire, myself and members of the Board of Commissioners commemorated the official opening of the first transient hangar at Port of South Louisiana Executive Regional Airport, expanding services at the aero center in Reserve.

Designed by NY Associates, Inc. and constructed by Justin J. Reeves, LLC, the 6,363 square-foot hangar has the capacity to accommodate a variety of large corporate and business aircraft, which are utilizing the Executive Regional Airport in Reserve on a more frequent basis.

The commemoration of the new hangar demonstrates Port of South Louisiana’s commitment to making the Executive Regional Airport a full-service airport.

The new hangar, along with our other improvements, allows us to be very competitive and we will continue to make additional improvements to attract more aircraft.

More than 40 guests attended the event that culminated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony, including St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom and Assessor Lucien Gauff as well FAA and LA DOTD representatives, and resident industry leaders.

“Today we celebrate Port of South Louisiana’s growing contribution to our state, national and the global economies,” said DOTD Assistant Secretary for Policy Chance McNeely, who served as the guest speaker during the event.

“This project is a demonstration of how investing in multimodal infrastructure pays off. We are proud of the Port’s efforts and our many years of partnership.”

The self-funded $739,000 project began construction in the summer of 2016. KAPS’ newest addition will allow the airport to better serve the needs of general aviation and corporate aircraft.

“It’s the first hangar constructed on the airfield that is operated by the Port of South Louisiana, which is why it is affectionately referred to as ‘Hangar 1.’ Others on the field are privately owned.” said Vincent Caire, airport director.

Hangar 1 is just one of many planned improvements and additions for the airport since Port of South Louisiana acquired it in the summer of 2009.

Since then, its runway was extended to 5,150 feet complete with a parallel taxiway and new lighting and AWOS systems.

KAPS features the same services and amenities that selective passengers and flight crews would expect to find when traveling through any FBO. Customer service and line service crew are trained to cater to the needs of customers.

The airport offers Jet-A and AvGas fuel plus its FBO features a service lobby, conference room, pilot lounge, coffee bar, kitchen/catering area, rental cars and crew cars.

KAPS hosted several fly-ins and community events throughout 2017. In May, a breakfast was held there as part of St. John the Baptist Parish IEDC’s National Economic Development Week celebration. In the same month, the First Annual St. John the Baptist Parish Aviation Awareness Day was held at the airport, an educational outing for the community, especially children, to learn about flying and aviation.

In June, there was a Pilots N Paws fly-in during which pilots volunteered to provide transportation for homeless animals to potential forever homes across the country.

In mid-October, KAPS held an Andouille Festival fly-in in conjunction with an FAA safety seminar during which attendees were given a taste of jambalaya as a sneak-peak of the local delicacies to be found at the St. John the Baptist Parish Festival.

A group from Rockport, Texas traveled the furthest of the attendees at the fly-in. The Andouille festival fly-in also attracted WGNO’s News with a Twist, who came out to film a segment about the local fair, KAPS, and giving new meaning to the term tail-gating.

The FFA safety seminar, presented by FAA Safety Team representative Eric Botnick, covered topics such as an introduction to an ADS-B, a transponder typically combined with a GPS that transmits highly accurate information to ground controllers and to other aircraft thereby efficiently improving airspace management, technology that is an FAA mandate by January 2020. Botnick also discussed accident survival strategies.

On Nov. 4, Pilots for Patients, an organization founded over nine years ago, will be flying into KAPS to provide air transportation to people with medical conditions to out-of-town medical facilities at no cost. For more information on this fly-in, contact KAPS at 985-652-9278, ext. 8512.

Paul Aucoin is executive director of the Port of South Louisiana. For more information, call 985-652-9278.