Air2 flys into new home at Reserve airport

Published 12:12 am Wednesday, February 14, 2018

RESERVE — In welcoming its first tenant, the Port of South Louisiana Executive Regional Airport is contributing to the economic development of the River Parishes.

The Executive Regional Airport’s new 6,363 square foot hangar is part of a series of improvements that make the River Region attractive to investors considering bringing jobs here, according to Port of South Louisiana Executive Director Paul Aucoin.

“That’s our mission: creating jobs,” Aucoin said. “We are sought after by companies that allow us to build a more productive work force in Louisiana.”

Air2, a Maryland based company, is the first of what will hopefully turn into many tenants. As a “transient” tenant, Air2 will fly in MD500 helicopters as jobs bring the company to the area.

Aucoin said Air2 is working with Entergy, conducting flyovers to spot faulty lines and correct and prevent power outages.

Aside from bringing locals improved electrical services, Air2’s presence generates revenue for local businesses, according to Aucoin.

“Business/general aviation facilities are a living, breathing part of the community and a viable economic engine,” Aucoin said.

“Any time an aircraft hits the ground, it benefits the local economy, whether it’s grabbing a bite to eat, spending the night at a local hotel or renting a car.”

The hangar is sized to house several airplanes or helicopters or one large jet, and any aircraft owner in need of a safe and reliable storage space may become a tenant.

Aucoin said there are plans to construct a new set of larger hangers with several garage doors to attract more businesses to the area.

The Airport also provides meeting rooms and a pilot’s lounge to accommodate leaders from industries along the Mississippi River.

“We’re very proud of the Airport and look forward to making it more accessible,” Aucoin said.

The Port of South Louisiana, the largest tonnage port in the Western Hemisphere and the 16th largest in the world, owns the Regional Executive Airport.

In 2017, the Port set a cargo-volume record of 307.8 million tons, indicating a trend of growth in jobs in St. Charles, St. John the Baptist and St. James parishes.

Aucoin said plans for the future include strengthening the dock to support the weight of cranes, adding a conveyor system and ensuring the mouth of the River remains 50 feet wide to support shipment of cargo.

For more information, contact Aucoin or Airport Director Vincent Caire at 985-652-9278.