Media Contact: Jim Caldwell
May 5, 2009
The Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BTR) was awarded a $4.42 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to strengthen runway safety. Anthony Marino, the Director of Aviation, sought money for resurfacing after the wear the runways experienced from heavy traffic following Hurricane Katrina. More than $146 million in additional projects are currently under contract, in design, or underway at the Baton Rouge Metro Airport. The projects will expand capacity and enhance safety at the airport. The airport's terminal improvement projects, which will involve expanding the atrium and relocating the security checkpoint to allow access to the atrium without having to clear security, will begin soon. The public will be able to visit the atrium shops and restaurants as they wait for arriving passengers. Terminal renovation will also include new tile, carpet, and painting. A five level parking garage as well as $1.5 million in ongoing beautification projects will be completed before the end of the year. The new parking garage will house the rental car fleets, freeing up many of the best spaces in the primary parking garage for passengers. Rental car customers will be able to walk directly from the rental counters to the new rental car garage without having to cross the road.
BTR has initiated the final phase of the Sound Reduction Program, which involves installing sound insulation in 36 homes in all airport quadrants. The work is scheduled to be completed by the end of December, 2009. Other projects include the relocations of Plank and Blount Roads. The relocation of 1.1 miles of Plank Road is scheduled for completion in June, 2009. This was necessary to allow for the construction of a 1,000 ft. extended runway safety area for runway 22R as required by the FAA. Blount Road is also being relocated as part of the same project. Property has been acquired; residents are being relocated; and construction is underway. The safety area construction itself will begin on June 01, 2009. These ongoing improvements, combined with over $400 million in previous projects, have contributed to BTR becoming a modern and efficient airport. Despite this growth, BTR has maintained a user-friendly operation. Security wait time averages less than 10 minutes; and parking is inexpensive and convenient to the terminal.
The Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport continues to play a significant role as an economic engine for business growth and development in the greater Baton Rouge area. With nearly 90,000 aircraft operations each year, including commercial, private, and cargo aircraft, BTR provides passenger and cargo perations that help sustain economic growth in the entire metro area.