Fuel sales, hangar leases make Minden Airport soar

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Between fuel sales and hangar leases, life at the Minden Airport is flying high.

Airport Supervisor Steven Bordeaux told members of the Minden City Council and the mayor last week, that all 30 hangars are leased with 34 aircraft based there.

“There are 16 people on the hangar notification list,” he said. “So, we need more hangars.”

Bordeaux said all hangars are identical in size, and the size of the aircraft boarded there is generally the same.

Estimated cost of building a row of 10 hangars (numbers are from 2022) is $400,000 to $600,000 “ballpark,” he said. “We could conservatively say $500,000 now.”

More than 50 percent of the hangars are leased by persons outside Webster Parish – the majority are from Shreveport/Bossier, he said.

Hangars are leased for $200 per month. “We’ve slowly been increasing over the last couple of years,” he said. “When we started, it was $175 a month. We’ve just been inching up. The plan is to still do that to get to a price where I feel we should be.”

Bordeaux said there has been discussion about raising the lease price significantly.

“I advised against doing that because of what I mentioned about 51 percent of our tenants coming from outside the parish,” he said. “They have to drive 30 to 45 minutes or more to get to their airplane. The tenants we do lose are from the Shreveport/Bossier area, and they get tired of driving.

“If we raise it too much, we run the risk of losing several tenants,” Bordeaux continued. “We would end up right back at the same revenue production. It’s kind of a balancing act.”

Revenue compared to expenditures look good, despite some weather-related damages.

“Our fuel cart vessel was hit – we had to replace about $100 worth of electronics inside of that,” Bordeaux said. “Two cameras and a recorder, HDMI on the TVs, two parking lot lights, three hangars worth of lights … the list goes on and on. We are trying to save as much money as we can by using line crews for that stuff.”

The month of June had the best fuel sales on record, following the best year for the airport in fuel sales.

“We are still on par with that for this year, as well,” he said. “Our self-serve and full service sales are probably the cheapest in 50 miles of here.”

Improvements are aways in the works.

“We’ve completed one project that included a lot of tree cutting,” Bordeaux said. “And we have one other piece of property we are trying to purchase at the northeast side of the airport. We have a wildlife fence project coming up next year.”

The city will receive a grant from Federal Aviation Administration for the final phase of the taxiway.

“That’s a $2.6 million project that is funded by FAA with a 10 percent match from DOTD (Department of Transportation and Development), so it’s not going to cost us anything,” he said, adding the grant was written by KSA Engineers. “They do a lot of that stuff for us.”

Bordeaux said that project will begin near the end of the fiscal year (September 30).

“We likely won’t expend any of that money this fiscal year,” he said.