August 12, 2009
The Baton Rouge City-Parish has received a $1 million federal grant to help build industrial access roads at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BTR) for a new Aviation Business Park.
To qualify for the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration grant, the state has to contribute matching funds of $479,000. This is in addition to the $3.3 million in airport funds that has been invested for land acquisition and utility infrastructure. The funds from the local, state, and federal levels for this project totals $4,791,375.
BTR Aviation Director Anthony Marino said the improvements are part of an effort to develop an Aviation Business Park on vacant land along the northern edge of Metro Airport off Blount Road.
In all, the city-parish has 300 acres just north of the airport that was either received from the federal government when the airport was turned over to the city-parish, or was acquired later for noise mitigation.
The grant will upgrade and renovate 3,000 feet of existing roadway at the airport, and construct approximately 2,800 feet on new road with drainage. The project will also relocate the Airport’s remote transmitter receiver facility.
Marino said the Airport took steps last week to hire a design team to plan the proposed Aviation Business Park’s first building, a 51,000-square foot national preparedness center. Walls within the proposed building could be shifted and converted in an emergency operations center in the event of a hurricane or other disaster. Airport officials are also planning to fund that project with grant money.
The proposed building would serve as an anchor for the proposed Aviation Business Park. Marino said he’s planning to secure federal and state funds to construct the building, along with a parking area and a runway apron that are being planned by the same design team.
Marino said the proposed Aviation Business Park is ideally situated for a wide range of aviation and non-aviation businesses. Most of the proposed park’s infrastructure, such as roads, electrical service, natural gas, waste and sewer is already in place; and full-time security will be provided by the airport at no additional cost.