Plans for overhauling Louis Armstrong International Airport are in the works and just how it is done could have an effect on residents of St. Charles Parish and the disturbances they encounter.
The two possible plans at present include going westward to build new terminals which would be toward St. Charles. The other is to construct a new main terminal north of the airport toward Interstate 10 which is close to Kenner neighborhoods. In the latter case, the old main terminal would be considered for use as a cargo transit hub which could become lucrative.
Objections to the western route have included disturbances of populated areas and impacts on the wetlands in St. Charles. Some claim, however, the impacts would not reach the wetlands.
In the past, privatization of the airport and building a new one more centrally located between New Orleans and Baton Rouge have been considered. Both ideas have been rejected.
Obviously, the airport needs expansion. More and better space would provide more business and a reduction in per-passenger cost. Rates for airport service then could go down which would increase its use even more.
Whatever happens, the airport is part of St. Charles with giant airliners landing over it and passengers coming through it for access. Part of the western runway is now located in our parish.
The parish needs to take part in selecting the direction in which the expansion proceeds. Itís a decision that should be acceptable to St. Charles, Jefferson and New Orleans which will live with it in the future.