A couple years ago we did a Hot Button which raised some eyebrows. We suggested that the Lake Charles and Lafayette areas stop thinking of themselves as discrete metro areas, and instead start thinking of themselves as a super-region, capable of competing with other super-regions both domestically and abroad.
We suggested that one goal would be to build a major passenger and cargo airport between the two cities, likely in Jeff Davis Parish, to augment the services offered by each city's present close-in airport.
Well you're going to be hearing a news story today or tomorrow that is a huge step toward Lake Charles and Lafayette walking into the future in lockstep. Regional chambers from the two cities are meeting in Acadia Parish to sign what is being called the Acadiana-Southwest Louisiana Compact. The Compact signals a pledge of cooperation on regional economic development initiatives and creates the Southwest Louisiana Super Region.
This kind of cooperation bodes well for Lake Charles, Lafayette, and surrounding communities. Whether it leads to a new joint airport remains to be seen, but the important thing is that the first step is being taken and the possibilities are endless.
Southwest Louisiana and Acadiana share cultures, economies and natural threats. It's time we focused on what we have in common as we face the challenges of the future and our highest potential as a Super Region.