Chennault International Airport in Lake Charles, Louisiana, is proudly and primarily an industrial airport, home to several manufacturing, distribution, transportation and service companies.
But it’s also a convenient and popular air terminal for private, corporate and charter aircraft bringing visitors to Lake Charles for business or pleasure. Corporate travellers fly into “America’s energy corridor” – as this region is tagged – to do business with the refineries, LNG companies, petrochemical plants and other industries that operate in this southwest corner of Louisiana.
And the Lake Charles area has many non-business attractions that draw visitors. As a “sportsman’s paradise,” it sits smack in the middle of prime hunting and fishing grounds. Duck and goose hunters flock in from far and wide, and fishermen are lured to the area by the superb freshwater, brackish and saltwater angling.
Five premier casino resorts make the Lake Charles area a sure-bet destination for anyone seeking a gaming getaway with Vegas-style fun and entertainment. Known for its food, music and Cajun culture, Lake Charles has a lively arts and entertainment scene. Known as “the festival capital of Louisiana,” the area boasts some 75 annual festivals. One of the area’s biggest festivals is Mardi Gras – a six-week-long celebration packed with parades, parties and costume balls that attracts visitors from far and wide.
Whatever the reason for their visit, pilots and passengers arriving at Chennault are welcomed by the airport’s fixed-base operator, Million Air, which provides a comfortable terminal and hospitality center, in addition to offering fuel, hangar space and other aviation services.
Major Companies Have Landed at Chennault
As an industrial airport, Chennault provides a home base for companies making use of the robust airport infrastructure, a strategic location and transportation connectivity – easy access to railroads, waterways and Interstate highways.
The airport’s landscape is dominated by several massive hangars. Inside those cavernous structures, aircraft—ranging from wide-body jet airliners to high-tech military planes—are being overhauled, modified, repaired and painted.
• Northrop Grumman performs work on the Joint STARS military surveillance aircraft for the U.S. Air Force.
• Landlocked Aviation Services does aircraft painting for airlines and other customers.
• Louisiana Millwork/Masonite manufactures building materials for southern U.S. markets.
• The U.S. Army National Guard has leased a site at Chennault for a future readiness and training facility.
• In addition, acres of concrete pads on airport property are leased to major construction companies as staging sites for equipment and materials.
Looking to the future, Chennault officials believe that air freight operations would mesh well with the current commercial and industrial activity at the airport, and they are actively pursuing development opportunities to make Lake Charles a busy cargo hub. The Chennault complex includes some 550 acres of open land available for immediate development, and the airport is marketing those sites to potential developers. EG