Contract Vote Set Tuesday For New Lafayette Airport Director

LAFAYETTE, LA (AP) — The Lafayette Regional Airport Board of Commissioners is expected to approve a contract on Tuesday for Steven Picou, a deputy aviation director in Amarillo, TX. Picou was offered the Lafayette director's position last week.

         If the board ratifies Picou's contract at the special meeting, he will begin work March 9. Picou was chosen from among 34 applicants and was offered the job Wednesday after a 7-0 vote.

         The Advocate’s Billy Gunn reports Picou, 43, arrived in Lafayette with his wife and two children over the weekend to begin looking for a new home.

         Picou is a native of Cut Off. His father lives in Franklinton and his mother-in-law lives in Labadieville.

         He's a graduate of South Lafourche High School and Louisiana Tech University who went on to jobs at New Orleans International Airport, Albuquerque International Airport in New Mexico and as deputy director at Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport since 2008.

         Picou will take over a busy Lafayette Regional Airport that is projected to grow busier in the next 10 years. Lafayette commercial air passengers in 2014 totaled more than half a million for the first time; construction is ongoing on a Bell Helicopter assembly plant on airport grounds; and planning has begun to build a bigger parking lot, an expanded commercial passenger terminal and other improvements in a multiyear project expected to cost $90 million.

         Picou said he has experience overseeing airport projects that are built while commercial service continues. In Albuquerque, he spearheaded construction of a fuel farm that expanded storage from 100,000 gallons of aviation fuel to 1.3 million gallons. In Amarillo, he oversaw construction of a new $52 million commercial passenger terminal.

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