LOUISIANA – Monroe Regional Airport officials learned Tuesday passenger loading and unloading bridges at the new $36 million terminal are not able to connect to airplanes.
Airport director Cleve Norrell confirmed Tuesday afternoon that some of the loading and unloading bridges at the new terminal appear they will not be able to connect to some of the airplanes.
He said airport officials are working to determine what caused the problem, if the issue resulted from a design flaw during the construction process or if it was a result of an error on the city’s part.
“We are checking them out to see what the problem is, but it looks like some of them will fit and some won’t fit,” Norrell said. “We’re not sure what will fix it right now, but that’s what we’re working on. There are a lot of variables, but we’ll know when we try to put them up to the plane. We’re working to remedy the problem.”
Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo said he was made aware of the problem late Tuesday.
“I’m trying to find out what’s going on,” Mayo said. “What I’ve been told is the loading bridges are not long enough to reach the airplanes. They are several feet short, which presents a problem for the planes connecting to the loading bridges. There’s a certain distance the planes have to stop at the building, and the loading bridges cannot reach out there. I don’t know if there was a test, but there should have been one. I am very concerned whether or not a test was done prior to the first plane coming in, and I’m going to get to the root of the problem. It’s just not acceptable.”
He said in the meantime, the airport will have to improvise with the loading and unloading of passengers.
The new 58,000-square-foot terminal was constructed by Lincoln Builders of Ruston.