Beauregard Parish Airport
Copyright © Beauregard Tourist Commission. All rights reserved.
1220 1st Avenue
DeRidder, La. 70634
Phone: 337-462-3364 - 337-463-8250
Monday - Friday 7:30am to 5:30pm
Saturday - Sunday 7:00am to 5:00pm
A general Aviation Airport serving private, corporate, agricultural, and military aviation. Located 3 miles west of DeRidder, La. and 15 miles south of Ft. Polk, La. home of the Joint Readiness Training Center. Located on 4,000 acres of land accessible by rail on 2 sides and bounded by roads on four sides. On site -- 18 hole golf course, FAA AFSS, fuel, and courtesy vehicle. Acreage available for lease at reasonable rates.
The present Beauregard Parish Airport has a long and colorful history, which began prior to its use as an airfield. The airport property includes most of what was once the Graybow Community. In 1912 Graybow was an active community and the location of the Galloway Sawmill.
The nation was experiencing the effects of the Great Depression. To counteract the unemployment caused by the depression, work projects were activated across the country. One such project was begun in 1934, 3 miles west of DeRidder under the Auspices of the Emergency Relief Authority which later became the WPA. This project in a stump littered field provided employment for about 400 men, who worked to clear what had once been a densely wooded region. They constructed two earthen runways on 160 acres of land leased from the owner. The field was used very little. Barnstorming pilots would occasionally visit and offer rides for $2.00. Interest in the military utilization of Beauregard Field increased significantly in 1939 when war began in Europe. The United States needed a training ground for American troops. In the summer of 1940 the area was used for the "Louisiana Maneuvers". The DeRidder Army Air Base was begun on July 21, 1941, four months prior to Pearl Harbor. Additional runways were begun as a result of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The base developed rapidly after the United States entered World War II. The year 1942 saw the completion of several runways, concrete aprons, radio-controlled tower, a huge hanger, recreation hall, post office, 60-bed hospital, theatre, and housing. Over 5,000 personnel, military and civilian were assigned to the base.
The DeRidder Army Air Base was declared surplus on October 2, 1946 and transferred to War Assets Administration on April 30, 1947. The Beauregard Parish Police Jury assumed responsibility for the airport that year.
On December 23, 1948 the government deeded the base to the Police Jury under the terms of the Surplus Property Act. A requirement of the deed was that the property had to remain a public airport and all benefits of the property must be used to benefit the airport. In this case the federal government, wisely, not only gave the parish an airport but also gave a means by which the airport could provide for it's own financial self-support. Today the airport includes over 4,200 acres and is, financially, self-supporting. Normally there are no tax revenues received from the Police Jury or City of DeRidder. Airport revenues are generated through forestry, agriculture, fuel sales, hanger rentals, and leases.
The Beauregard Parish Airport has over 6.2 square miles of land - much more than most airports. Many hope that this will give DeRidder a competitive edge in the 21st century for attracting desirable development. The airport is within minutes of Boise Cascade Paper Mill, Amerisafe Insurance, Westvaco, and Ampacet Corp. Ft. Polk, home of the Joint Readiness Training Center, is 15 miles to the North. There are many military flights that use the Beauregard Parish Airport for Ft. Polk visits. You may even see an occasional airborne exercise taking place. The local communities and Ft. Polk enjoy a very harmonious, cooperative relationship.
The Beauregard Parish Airport contains 4,200 acres. In land area it is the largest in the state and one of the largest in the country. The largest portion of the property is used to produce forestry and agricultural products. Because of the large amount of land available there are excellent locations for commercial/ industrial development. Lease rates are based on fair market value of the specific piece of property. The value is established by appraisals of the property.
There are paved roads on the east and north sides--the North side is bounded by U. S. 190. The South and West sides are partially bounded by paved roads. Two rail lines border the property on the South and West sides. The area has an abundance of flat usable land, a plentiful water supply, and natural gas. The City of DeRidder adjoins the property on the east side. A major east/west traffic corridor, I-10, is 46 miles south and connects to U. S. 171 leading to DeRidder.