Hangar H can accommodate up to C-5 sized aircraft and features an unobstructed interior, LED lighting and large-diameter fans. The hangar includes an additional 6,000 square feet of office space.

LAKE CHARLES — Chennault International Airport held an official opening of Hangar H — a 112,000-square-foot, $21.5-million facility — on Tuesday, October 14. Local, state and federal dignitaries were in attendance, including U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany.

Hangar H can accommodate up to C-5 sized aircraft and features an unobstructed interior, LED lighting and large-diameter fans. The hangar includes an additional 6,000 square feet of office space.

Boustany praised the facility, emphasizing that it was part of the diversification of the area.

“The growth trajectory is outstanding for the future [of this area],” he stated.

Hangar H is being occupied by AAR Aircraft Services, a global aerospace and defense contractor and the biggest MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) provider in the country. AAR will perform wide-body aircraft work in Hangar H and is expected to grow to create about 500 jobs in the Lake Charles area. AAR has operated at five other hangars at Chennault since August 2013.

Don Wetekam, AAR Senior Vice President Government & Defense Business Development, called Hanger H “a big deal” for the company and that it completes their transition.

“We are excited not only to be opening this new hangar but also to have it booked up for the next six months as AAR expands our wide-body aircraft capacity to meet the increasing demand in North America,” said Wetekam. “Commercial and private carriers appreciate the breadth of services that AAR can provide at this newest MRO facility, and the timing of our new hangar has turned out to be ideal.”

“Hangar H was engineered, designed and constructed locally. The talent of the technicians who built this state-of-the-art, wide-body hangar for Chennault was truly impressive,” said Randy Robb, executive director at Chennault.

The general contractor for the project was Alfred Palma, LLC, and Meyer and Associates was the engineering contractor. Local architects, electrical engineers, structural engineers and steel companies were also chosen to help construct the hangar.

Hangar H was built with funding from Chennault Airport Authority and the State of Louisiana.

“The credit for this hangar goes to the State of Louisiana for making the commitment to provide infrastructure that will bring quality job growth in high-tech companies to our state,” said Robb.

Planning for Hangar H began in early 2012. Construction commenced in mid-2013.