Chennault International Airport Environmental Assessment
In 2017, KSA was selected by Chennault International Airport to conduct an Environmental Assessment for the acquisition of approximately 235 acres currently occupied by the Mallard Cove Golf Course. During the Airport Master Plan, completed by KSA in 2016, Mallard Cove was identified as a key acquisition during the planning period. The Airport had continued to maintain extensive taxiway pavement on the southern portion of the airfield that remained unutilized due to its location and proximity to the airport boundary and perimeter fence. The area being proposed for acquisition could potentially accommodate additional aircraft MRO, based aircraft storage, warehousing, cargo or fuel storage facilities. Combined with the potential growth of the airport, the Lake Charles region has opportunity for many other areas of economic and business expansion. Currently, the Airport has limited capacity to facilitate such growth. By acquiring Mallard Cove Golf Course, the airport would expand its footprint to allow for such growth both on and off airport while allowing the use of important infrastructure already in place at the airport.
During the completion of the EA, several challenges were overcome with regard to Department of Transportation Section 4(f) resources. Since the Mallard Cove Golf Course was owned by the City of Lake Charles and available to the public, it was classified as a Section 4(f) resource which must be preserved or mitigated with the construction of a new golf course offering the same, or greater level of service. In order to meet this requirement, the Chennault International Airport Authority entered into an agreement with the City of Lake Charles to facilitate the transfer of property owned by the City of Lake Charles to the Authority in exchange for the construction and relocation of the golf course.
Additionally, numerous wetlands and associated resources were identified during the course of the EA. It was determined, through coordination with the prospective developer, that any future developments could avoid these identified areas, thus mitigating any need for action.