LIVINGSTON PARISH,LA (FOX44) — Livingston Parish is one step closer to getting a B-II airport.
Parish President Layton Ricks said the parish teamed up with the state to move forward to the environmental phase and next step towards an airport in the parish. While it will take a few years before it can be built Ricks said the progress is exciting.
“We are doing this with state and federal dollars. [The airport] It’s going to be a huge, as far as, an impact economically for the parish. ” Ricks said. “…It’s a win win for the parish.”
Ricks said the parish put in some money to get the ball rolling for phase one. Now the project is moving forward using some state capital outlay funding. Ricks said the parish is considering sites for the airport between Walker and Satsuma on the south side of the I-12.
"This will be classified as a B-II airport, so it's not going to be a big heavy duty commercial airport," Ricks said.
The proposed airport would cater to smaller aircrafts, and it would be able to a handle up to a small corporate jet.
“We did not want to have an issue with noise. We did not want to have an issue that would be upsetting to our residents.” Ricks said.
The airport would be close to North Oaks and Our Lady of the Lake Livingston and could make easier to help to residents during a disaster.
“We’ll have an airstrip in Livingston Parish,” Ricks said. “We fly in medical personnel or medical supplies should we have another disaster like we had during Katrina or Gustav.
The airport would also help make it easier for executives to come check out potential properties in the parish.
“They can fly right in look at land look at property spend the day looking instead of trying to get here from other airports and get back to other airports,” Ricks said
People living near the proposed airport location don't like the sound of that.
“Air plane be flying over people's houses making all kind of noise,” Nathan McMorris, who lives near the proposed airport said.
“It's a little scary with the airplanes flying over and just thinking about the children and at night trying to sleep and it'll be real frustrating,” Brandee Ferguson, who lives near proposed airport site, said.
They say they don’t want to see an airport of any kind built near their homes.
“Maybe they should find somewhere else to build it. I don't think I don't think this will be a good spot,” Ferguson said.
“I don't like the idea of it being that close when they have got deeper woods they can find without bothering people’s houses,” McMorris said.
Ricks says the environmental phase should wrap up around the end of October. He says the parish will host public meetings in the future to get residents thoughts on the plan.