Lafayette Regional Airport Commission

The Lafayette Municipal Airport was dedicated on November 29, 1930.  Its first commercial flights were offered in 1948. Today it is “Lafayette Regional Airport,” a major source of transportation into and out of the Acadiana region. It has grown from 845 acres in 1953 to the current 1,116 acres. The airport and its services impact the community and its businesses economically.  In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina it was the closest airport to New Orleans and the hub of air relief aid.

I. Power

The Lafayette Airport Commission is the governing authority of the airport. It was established by the Louisiana Legislature and the governing bodies of the City and Parish of Lafayette and is a component unit of Lafayette Consolidated Government. 

The Lafayette Airport Commission has the power to plan, acquire, build, maintain, operate, regulate and protect the air field.  It may issue revenue bonds to finance improvements and for refunding of debt, subject to approval by the Lafayette Parish Council and State Bond Commission.  The Commissioners hire the Executive Director of the Airport, who, in turn, hires and administers the Office and Maintenance Personnel.  The Commission and its professional staff must meet the federal, state, and local laws and codes pertaining to the business of running an airport. 

The Commission is made up of seven members, five (5) appointed by the Lafayette Consolidated Government City-Parish Council, one by the City Parish President, and one (1) by the area mayors.  Each member serves a four-year term, not to exceed 12 years or three consecutive terms.  They represent all areas of the parish, including the rural areas.  Their terms are staggered, and there must be one Afro-American member.  The Board also includes female representation.

This is a volunteer service. The commissioners are entitled to receive expenses occurred in the discharge of their duties.


II. Services

The mission of the Lafayette Airport Commission  is “to provide and ensure a safe, secure, and customer-friendly environment” meeting “all the aviation needs of Acadiana, while promoting the continuous growth and development of Lafayette Regional Airport.” The commissioners perform operating and marketing related tasks with the staff, and work to coordinate business development.  They also act as “ambassadors” for the airport to the community and their contacts, meet with state legislators and hire lobbying consultants to assist with federal matters and funding.

The Commission works with a committee structure:

  • Legal Committee:  leases, contracts, easements, Louisiana Department of Transportation/Federal Airlines Administration contracts/resolutions, and FBO (Fixed Base Operator) liaison
  • Internal Affairs Committee:  regulations, bids, personnel issues (salaries, pay scale, job descriptions, etc.) budget, financial reports, audits and financing
  • Strategic Committee:  public/community affairs, air service, environmental, security, parking and airport cleanliness and developmental projects.
  • Terminal Committee: oversees the planning and construction of a new Lafayette terminal. 

The professional staff is headed by an Executive Director  and  Deputy Director of Aviation.  They head a ten (10) member office staff and a nine (9) member Maintenance Division. The airport medical director is a volunteer position.

Services include

  • Passenger service
  • Cargo service
  • Flight school  
  • Aircraft maintenance                    
  • Hangar service
  • Ancillary services for travelers
  • Public education on the nature of aviation
  • Special events (tours, aviation day)
  • Annual environmental training for all tenants
  • Web site (www.lftairport.com) Traveler information, public notices, personnel listings, meetings, calendar, agenda, and minutes

III. Funding

The Budget is drawn up by the Airport Commission prior to the beginning of the fiscal year, posted for public availability, and adopted by the Commission. Budgets are filed in the Commission office.

Percentages of income:  2014 Legislative Audit, Table 2

   Charges for services  54.72%
   Operating grants .60%
   Capital grants and contributions  25.15%
   Property taxes  18.62%
   State revenue sharing  00.28%
   Investment earnings  00.62%
     
   TOTAL  100.00%

Percentages of operating expenditures:  2014 Legislative Audit, Table 4

  Administration 13.00%
  Telephone and utilities4.00%
 Supplies and materials1.00%
 Repairs and maintenance11.00%
 Security5.00%
 ARFF (Aircraft rescue and fire-fighting)4.00%
  Professional fees 4.00%
 Insurance3.00%
  Contractual Services 6.00%
  Depreciation
 43.00%
 — 2015 Annual Report 


INTERGOVERNMENTAL COOPERATION AND ALLIED GROUPS

  1.  Airport Improvement Program grants funded at the federal and state level supporting capital projects
  2. Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office provides security
  3.  Fire and Rescue provided by the Rural-Metro Corporation
  4.  Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
  5. Bayou Vermilion District
  6. Federal Aviation Administration

LONG TERM COMPREHENSIVE PLAN

The ten year Capital Improvement Plan is available at the Commission Office.

SUNSHINE COMPLIANCE

The Board of Commissioners meets monthly as posted on the calendar on the web site (www.lftairport.com), along with the agenda. 

To request an item be placed on the airport’s agenda, notification must be in writing and received by the deadline. Current minutes and agendas are maintained on the web site, along with the Annual Report.  Past minutes are archived in the Commission office for 5 years.

 

Sources

web site, www.lftairport.com

website, www.lftairport.com/commissioners

Annual Report, 2014
Louisiana Revised Statutes, RS 2:601
Louisiana Revised Statutes, RS 2:603
Louisiana Legislative Audit, 2014, especially Tables 2, 4

Steven Picou, Executive Director, Lafayette Airport Commission, 2015

Mary Green, Chief Financial Officer,  Lafayette Airport Commission, 2015

Updated September, 2015


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