England AFB Today
In October 1990, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission made the decision to close the base. Remaining A-10s were transferred to Air National Guard units. England Air Force Base ended its storied history on June 1, 1992.
The base was transferred to the England Air Park and Community, and this organization has achieved great success in transforming the base into a usable, vibrant business and residential area.
Among the entities located at this mixed-use community is the Oak Wing Golf Club, 220-acre public 18- hole course located along the scenic banks of Bayou Rapides and Bayou Le Tig.
The site also houses many businesses and industries. It also offers a variety of residential living options in England Oaks, England Estates and England Village.
Alexandria International Airport (AEX)
Also located in the Air Park is Alexandria International Airport (AEX). When EAFB closed, commercial airport operations were transferred from Esler Field which is located east of Pineville.
The AEX airport is about 4 miles from downtown Alexandria. Commercial carriers include American Eagle, Atlantic Southeast Airlines and Continental Airlines.
Rental cars are available from Avis, National, Budget and Hertz. Parc England, a boutique hotel, is just blocks away from the terminal, and Bistro on the Bayou provides a fine dining experience.
In October of 2011, the terminal was named the James L. Meyer Commercial Terminal in honor of the man who was a major driving force in the development, and success, of England Airpark.
AEX continues to serve the military as a loading and unloading station supporting nearby Ft. Polk through a commercial lease with the military. This arrangement has resulted in approximately $60 million being invested in the airfield’s facilities.
England Airpark and AEX proved their value as a disaster relief staging and support area in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Gustav.
As the regional airport serving central Louisiana, AEX serves over 250,000 passengers with over 50,000 air operations per year through commercial and private airlines. England Airpark continues to be successful at drawing investment to the park and the surrounding community.
According to the Louisiana Economic Quarterly, England Airpark has leveraged $502 million in direct private investment and employs more than 2,000 people. Direct sales revenue has been reported as $2.8 billion.
Terminal building at Alexandria International Airport (AEX)
(photo by the author)
Alexandria International Airport seen from Google Earth