Proposed cargo airport may not fly

May 08, 2009 at 1:09 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Gov. Bobby Jindal is pulling his support away from state funding for a proposed cargo airport in the Donaldsonville area. The airport was intentioned to tie in air shipments to boat freight traffic along the Mississippi River.

The idea was a good one. It would allow companies to fly or ship raw materials from around the world to the Mississippi River where it could be manufactured into finished products that then could be flown or shipped to their markets around the world.

Louisiana is in a favored spot for such an airport since the greatest river in the world flows through it. Our state economy could get an enormous boost from it.

Other airports around the state apparently did not like the idea since it could take some cargo business away from them. And chances are passenger service would be added to the new airport at some time in the future, offering them other competition.

Some businesses were interested in the idea and considered investing money in the overall project. But the main money at first would be from the state in the amount of $200 million to $300 million. 

Undoubtedly, the current state of the economy has set back the idea somewhat. But there was never any concrete push to get the project going.

The river is still there and the land where the airport would be constructed won’t go away. Someday, maybe, Louisiana will have a transportation center second to none right between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

If the state funding is dropped during these difficult times, let’s hold on to the idea. As the world develops into a more open free market, it could greatly benefit from such a center that offers air and shipping traffic throughout the world.

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