MSY Airport Responds to Critics
NEW ORLEANS – Over the last week, there have been reports from travelers and the media about logistical problems after the debut of the new terminal at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. People have complained about traffic snarls to and from the airport, long lines at security and baggage problems.
Kevin C. Dolliole, director of aviation at the New Orleans Aviation Board, said there are plans in place to fix the problems as the busy Thanksgiving travel weekend approaches.
“We successfully completed an overnight transition from our former terminal to a brand-new facility on the other side of the airfield,” said Doliolle. “In a time where many airports in the United States are dealing with aging infrastructure and land constraints, the fact we had the opportunity to build a new terminal from the ground up at no cost to local taxpayers is a major accomplishment for our region.”
Doliolle said that, as of Nov. 14, the new facility welcomed more than 310,000 travelers (40,000 per day on average). Since the airport is home to airlines, police, ground transportation operators, skycaps, concessionaires, delivery drivers, custodial staff and many other workers, Doliolle likens the process to “picking up a small city and moving it to a different location.”
Here are some of the adjustments and improvements that Doliolle mentioned:
- The Department of Transporation and Development has made changes to the I-10/Veterans/Loyola intersection to “enhance vehicular flow.” They will continue to monitor and make improvements while construction of the new flyover gets underway.
- The TSA has 12 of 15 screening lanes operating and expects to have all 15 functioning by the Nov. 15. He said that lines may look longer at this one new single checkpoint but they are continuously moving.
- Uber and Lyft are working with airport staff to improve signage and communication to help passengers find their rides more quickly and reduce traffic congestion.
- Baggage system contractors and construction project managers have been working with all airlines throughout the day to respond, identify, and correct issues as they arise.