Lafayette Airport Board Selects New Director

LAFAYETTE, LA (AP) — Louisiana native Steven Picou was selected Wednesday from a field of more than 30 candidates to be the new director of the Lafayette Regional Airport.

         Picou told The Advertiser’s Clare Taylor Wednesday night that he wants the job "professionally to move up to the next level as director, and personally, it gets me closer to my family" in Labadieville and Franklinton.

         Picou, 43, has been deputy director of Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport in Texas since 2007. He was born in New Orleans, grew up in Cut Off in Lafourche Parish and graduated in professional aviation from Louisiana Tech University.

         Picou said he worked at New Orleans International Airport from 1996 to 2000 in airport operations and noise control. From 2001 to 2007, he worked at Albuquerque (New Mexico) International Airport as noise program manager and environmental manager, where he oversaw several construction projects.

         In his current position at Amarillo, Picou said he was involved in construction of a new terminal building and, in December, supervised completion of a consolidated rental car facility that came in under budget and four months ahead of schedule.

         "He was definitely the most enthusiastic and well-suited for what this airport is getting ready to go through," Airport Commission Chairman Matt Cruse said Wednesday.

         The new director will be charged with overseeing construction of a new airport terminal and parking facility after voters in December agreed to pay an extra 1 percent sales tax from April 1 until Nov. 30 to help pay for the project.

         The tax is expected to generate about $37 million toward the estimated $90 million cost of the project. Airport officials are counting on funds from the Federal Aviation Administration and the state to pay for part of the cost, and can issue more than $20 million in bonds for the rest.

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