Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport to Receive $15M Supplemental Federal Grant

Nov 12, 2019

The Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BTR) will be awarded a $15 million supplemental federal grant through the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP).
The additional funding will be utilized to establish a standard Runway Safety Area (RSA) / Runway Protection Zone (RPZ) for Runway 13-31, one of two primary air carrier runways at BTR. The airport currently has an Engineered Materials Arresting System (EMAS) at the end of Runway 31, which is an arrestor bed composed of blocks of lightweight, crushable cellular cement material designed to safely stop an aircraft in the event of a runway excursion.
The RSA/RPZ will replace the EMAS, eliminating ongoing maintenance and need to replace the EMAS every 15-20 years. While the existing EMAS and runway meets all FAA safety standards for landings and takeoffs, the standard RSA /RPZ is the preferred long-term option over the EMAS.
The project will include the relocation of part of Plank Road currently located at the end of Runway 31, allowing for the establishment of a full 1000’ Runway Safety Area. This will also eliminate the need for the current displaced runway threshold, which requires aircraft to land farther down Runway 31. The recovery of the 314’ displaced threshold will reclaim the full 7005’ runway length for landings.
“We are grateful to Congressman Graves and the Louisiana delegation for their support of this project and our efforts to obtain funding,” said Mike Edwards, BTR’s Director of Aviation. “The project will establish a standard Runway Safety Area and Runway Protection Zone for Runway 13-31, while also improving overall airport operations. As the airport continues to grow and develop, the community and surrounding area will benefit from the airport’s economic impact.”
BTR Airport Commission Chairman, Cleve Dunn, said, “We’ve asked Congressman Graves and his staff to work with us at the Baton Rouge Metro Airport to expand our air service offerings, enhance our airfield, and develop the land surrounding the airport. Congressman Graves and the Louisiana Congressional delegation have responded not only with words of support, but also with actions to help secure the supplemental $15 million dollar funding award.”
Dunn recognized the accomplishments of BTR Director of Aviation Mike Edwards and Assistant Director of Aviation Greg Pierson in working to secure these resources. “The airport contributes $1.1 billion annually to the Baton Rouge economy and over 4500 direct and indirect jobs. This project will further expand BTR’s economic impact, and create additional jobs and contracting opportunities for Baton Rouge area residents and businesses.”
“This is a big win for travelers in the Capital Region, for BTR and for South Louisiana,” said Graves. “We’re viewing this as a deposit and part of our broader, ongoing efforts to help make BTR the airport that Louisiana’s capital city deserves.” Graves is also working to secure a second funding source for the airport later this year.  
As the ranking member on the House Subcommittee on Aviation, Graves has advocated in Washington for BTR enhancements, pushing to help improve services and flight options for Capital Region travelers.
The Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BTR) is served by the major network airlines – American, Delta and United – with hub flights to Dallas, Houston, Atlanta and Charlotte that provide access to destinations worldwide.
BTR is the second largest airport in Louisiana based on passenger volume, and contributes $1.1 billion and 4,500 jobs to the Baton Rouge economy. The airport operates as an Enterprise Fund, generating its own revenues for airport operations without using local tax revenue. Learn more at

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