The 7 Busiest Airports in Louisiana, Ranked

Written by Asia Mayfield
Published: November 30, 2023
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Louisiana has seven major airports, a number that can seem large until you learn that more than 42 million people visited the state in 2022 alone. Louisiana needs multiple gateways for its travelers.

Here’s a list of the busiest airports in Louisiana ranked by passenger enplanement count

1. Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)

Exterior view of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

©Thank You (24 Millions ) views / Flickr – License

2022 enplanements: 5,931,899

If you want to see a thriving, bustling airport, head to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in New Orleans. Commercial planes carried a whopping 5,931,899 passengers away from MSY in 2022.

MSY is only 1,500 acres large, but the space contains 35 gates, multiple concourses, and many shops and restaurants. Everything is almost brand-new, as the terminal was rebuilt from 2015 to 2019 in a $598 million project. 

2. Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BTR)

Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport parking lot.

©GRALISTAIR / CC BY-SA 4.0 – License

2022 enplanements: 332,335

The East Baton Rouge Parish is home to the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport. Don’t worry about a layover at BTR; there’s free wifi and a decent restaurant to keep you entertained. For people flying out of Baton Rouge, catching a direct flight is fairly easy. 

At least 332,335 people boarded planes at BTR in 2022, a 19% increase from 2021. The proximity of the New Orleans International Airport means that many travelers can choose between the two airports.

3.  Shreveport Regional Airport (SHV)

Shreveport Regional Airport serves people who live in Shreveport and Bossier City.

©formulanone / Flickr – License

2022 enplanements: 272,981

Shreveport and Bossier City residents are closest to Shreveport Regional Airport. SHV isn’t the most exciting airport on this list, but it has free Wi-Fi and a gift shop where you can buy snacks and trinkets.

Multiple airlines have nonstop flights originating SHV, which helps explain why the 2022 enplanement count was 272,981 passengers.

In its early years, SHV was almost a mini-hub for Delta. The airline believed that Baton Rouge was an exploding city.  

4. Lafayette Regional Airport (LFT)

FedEx and UPS fly operate the largest jets at Lafayette Regional Airport.

©Dylan Ashe / CC BY-SA 2.0 – License

2022 enplanements: 226,249

Lafayette Regional Airport has a long history because it was first built nearly 100 years ago in 1930. It’s one of the busiest airports in Louisiana, with more than 200,000 passengers choosing to fly out of its gates in 2022. A new passenger terminal opened the same year.

The largest planes that leave the airport aren’t for passenger travel, however. They’re Boeing 757 jets controlled by UPS and FedEx.

5. Alexandria International Airport (AEX) 

Alexandria International Airport has a classic aesthetic.

©Smh2536 / Public Domain – License

2022 enplanements: 147,059

Alexandria International Airport is located in Alexandria City and spreads across 3,212 acres. It’s the largest airport in Louisiana by far if you consider the land area. 

However, the actual structure is small compared to other international airports. Enplanement data shows that 147,049 passengers flew from AEX in 2022. 

You can’t catch a commercial flight abroad at this airport, but the U.S. military routinely uses AEX as a base for its own international flights.

6.  Monroe Regional Airport (MLU)

Delta Airlines’ history is tied to Monroe Regional Airport.

©redlegsfan21 from Vandalia, OH, United States, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons – License

2022 enplanements: 89,347

Monroe Regional Airport also has a single terminal. Inside, you’ll find six gates, one restaurant, a gift shop, and small snack carts. By size, it’s the second-largest airport in the state. 

MLU has nonstop flights to major cities in Texas and Georgia, so it’s a good option for Louisiana residents who live near Monroe and want to explore the South. In 2022, 89,347 people caught flights at this small airport. 

Aviation history buffs enjoy MLU because it’s thought of as Delta Airlines’ birthplace. 

7. Lake Charles Regional Airport (LCH)

The exterior columns at Lake Charles Regional Airport are common in Southern architecture.

©CTtcg / CC BY-SA 3.0 – License

2022 enplanements: 61,288

The last spot on the list belongs to Lake Charles Regional Airport. If we were to rank airports purely by physical size, LCH would be Louisiana’s third-largest airport. However, its 61,288 enplanements in 2022 place it at number seven. 

LCH has two runways and a terminal that was updated in 2009. It completed critical runway renovations during the Covid-19 pandemic after receiving $18 million from the CARES  Act.

You might know the airport if you work in petroleum, as many helicopters used at Gulf Coast petroleum sites anchor at LCH.

Additional Louisiana Airports

There are actually 81 public airports in Louisiana. The seven airports listed above, however, are likely the only ones you’ll fly in or out of. That’s because most of the state’s public airports do not handle commercial traffic. They’re airports that you might use if you fly on a personal or company plane.

Summary of the 7 Busiest Airports in Louisiana

Airport Name2022 Enplanements
1. Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)5,931,899
2. Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BTR)332,335
3. Shreveport Regional Airport (SHV)272,981
4. Lafayette Regional Airport226,249
5. Alexandria International Airport (AEX)147,059
6. Monroe Regional Airport (MLU)89,347
7. Lake Charles Regional Airport (LCH)61,288

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Toni M/iStock via Getty Images

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About the Author

Asia Mayfield is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering cats and dogs. Asia regularly volunteers at the local animal shelter. As a resident of Nevada, Asia enjoys hiking, reading, and playing with her cats.

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