Improvements at Minden Airport are expected to be complete this year, mayor Tommy Davis said.
“The overall project we’re doing at the airport comes under the umbrella of obstruction removal,” he said. “We’re trying to build a parallel taxiway to the landing strip. To do that, we have to remove all of those older buildings existing now – where the terminal is now, where the fuel farm (fuel station) is now. In order to do that we have to build a new terminal, move the fuel farm, and we’ve already built the 30 new T-hangers.”
KSA Alliance is the engineer over the project, Davis said. The city will more than likely receive a $1 million grant through the Louisiana Department of Transportation to fund the remainder of the project.
Along with the construction of the new fuel farm and terminal, the grant will also pay for the removal of the existing buildings.
“We hope, assuming we get the money, we will be able to go out for bids on the terminal, the fuel farm and at the same time, we’ll have to
extend our water lines out there,” Davis said. “We think this will take place in the 2015-16 (fiscal) year in the budget we’ve been working on.”
The city applied for the grant last fiscal year, and if approved, they will likely receive the money sometime in August or early September, Davis said.
“We’ll be able to go out for bids pretty quickly after that,” he added.
The total cost of the project, including the construction of the T-hangars, is around $2 million.
The new terminal will be about 2,500 square feet, roughly double the size of the current one. It will house a conference room, pilots’ lounge, control room with computers and phones for flight planning.
The Minden airport is classified as general aviation with roughly 200 and 400 planes in and out each month. About 29 planes are currently housed in the two open hangars.
Along with the improvements to the airport, the personnel committee chose a new airport manager Tuesday, who is expected to begin after council approval on August 3.
Steven Burdeaux, originally from Bogalusa, will take the helm and says he’s pretty excited to manage Minden Airport, and that it’s a nice facility.
“I’m pretty excited about it,” he said. “It’s a step up from my position at the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport. There’s a lot of stuff that’s about to be going on at the Minden airport, and I’m pretty excited to be a part of it.”
Currently, Burdeaux is an operations supervisor at the Mississippi airport. He calls the position a “jack of all trades and master of none.” He says he is responsible for everything from security badging to construction, airfield inspections and a variety of things around the terminal.
He is a graduate of Louisiana Tech University, and says he likes the area, calling it “God’s country.” He’s toured Minden Airport and Minden.
“It seems like a pretty nice place, a nice town,” he said, “a good place to raise a family.”
Burdeaux has been married for nearly eight years and they have a two-year-old son.
He says his interest in aviation comes from growing up around it. His grandfather was always into aviation, owning several planes in Bogalusa, he said.
“I spent a lot of time at the airport in Bogalusa,” he said. “My Eagle Scout project actually involved the Bogalusa Airport. I’ve just always gravitated, really, to anything that had an engine, but aviation is a more lucrative career.”
According to his resume’, he is a certified employee of the American Association of Airport Executives, Airfield Lighting Maintenance Training and FEMA Emergency Operations Center training.
He has a bachelor’s degree in aviation management.