The Louisiana House Transportation Committee on Monday approved a bill sponsored by Speaker Jim Tucker, R-Algiers, to transfer control of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport to the new Southeast Regional Airport Authority from the New Orleans Aviation Board.

HB 1272 now goes to the full House.

Proponents have said the state will give New Orleans about $500 million for the facility to compensate the city for its asset, with the money dedicated to improvements in downtown New Orleans. However, Tucker’s bill does not include a compensation figure.

Tucker said Louisiana would have more financial ability to pay for improvements at the airport to enable more international and cargo flights.

The plan calls for the Legislature to issue bonds, with state gambling revenues supporting debt service of $40 million a year for 20 years. The state’s gambling revenue from the New Orleans area currently totals $215 million a year.

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