Cost-cutting efforts spark debate at Shreveport Regional Airport

Shreveport, LA(KSLA)- The debates on cost-cutting efforts at Shreveport Regional Airport continue after one proposed debate whether to keep the entry-way checkpoint with trunk inspections or do away with the practice.

Another proposed debate is whether to cut down on the number of airport fire trucks or keep the same number the airport currently has.

"An Alert 3 is where we would actually have a crash in the field and we've not had any alert 3's thank goodness since this airport's been open, to my knowledge," said Shreveport Regional Director Roy Miller.

"This is what an alert 3 would look like, luckily this was only a drill, at the Shreveport Regional Airport," said Shreveport Fire Chief Brian Crawford referring to an emergency drill they conducted. Chief Crawford opposes the idea.

The airport's task force that has been assigned the responsibility of coming up with ideas to help save money and lower air fares is now less than a week away from delivering its cost-cutting ideas to Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover.

Among those recommendations would be to save a million dollars a year by dropping from three fire trucks to one.

"It's approximately 500 thousand dollars per vehicle and that's primary labor costs," added Miller.

One fire truck is the minimum federal requirement for an airport the size of Shreveport's Regional Airport.

But Chief Crawford strongly detests the idea.

"I equate that to one of my fire trucks pulling out in front of a house, spraying the front door with a little water and leaving it up to the occupants to get out themselves," said Chief Crawford.

Chief Crawford says that's not going to happen at Shreveport Regional Airport.  He's already advised the Mayor to keep all three fire trucks and personnel right where they are.

He said: "Most people only call 911 one time in their entire life but you know what? we respond full board to that address like it's the first call we ever got."

Roy Miller says those who support the fire truck reduction mention the airport's mutual aid agreements.

"So, if we had an actual real life Alert 3, we would have not only fire trucks out there but based on the size of the incident we would have fire trucks throughout the city and parish," said Miller.

The task force supporters also point to Fire Station 16 right next door. But Chief Crawford warns against having a minimum protection for the 800 people who fly in and out of the Shreveport Regional Airport each and every day.