NEWS

Deadline set on future of LAA, cargo airport

Michael Jacobs

A deadline of May 1 has been set on decision on whether to continue plans for construction of a cargo airport between Donaldsonville and White Castle.

The state Department of Economic Development is mulling over the plans.

The state Legislature set the deadline after lawmakers voiced criticism that the Louisiana Airport Authority has spent too much money on a project that has yet to attract investors.

The plan, unveiled in 2002, was touted as the biggest economic development project in the state’s history.

The facility is planned for an area along the Mississippi River, and would link air, water and railroad shipping. It would be built on a 250,000-acre site encompassing parts of Iberville, Ascension and Assumption parishes.

The project has drawn interest of governmental and business officials, and opposition from some area landowners who fear it would eliminate the rural integrity of the area and force them into expropriation.

If the DED chooses not to continue plans, the Louisiana Airport Authority will be abolished by July 1.