New Orleans Aviation Board Votes To Expand, Finance Airport’s North Terminal Project

Rendering of the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport North Terminal expansion

NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Aviation Board (NOAB) formally voted to expand and finance the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport North Terminal Project yesterday, Thursday, March 16, bringing the total number of gates from 30 to 35. The five gate expansion and new opening date – February 2019 – comes as the airport has exceeded all passenger enplanement targets and added new international airlift to Europe and South America. The five-gate expansion and other implementation expenses add approximately $178 million to the project, bringing the overall total to $993 million.

         Construction on the new terminal is underway and proceeding on schedule, airport reps said. The design and environmental review processes for the five gate expansion are expected to be complete this spring. Rather than open the airport in a staggered, phased basis, which could cause logistical issues, the decision was made to open the new facility together in February 2019, airport reps said.

         “Our brand new, world-class airport terminal will serve as a crucial economic driver for the New Orleans metropolitan region and provide a lasting impression to visitors,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “We are growing at a record pace. Today, we have more airlines and non-stop destinations than ever before. I am confident this world class facility will be well worth the wait in 2019.”

         Announced in April 2013, the new North Terminal will be constructed on the north side of the existing Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) property, creating thousands of new construction jobs and significant opportunities for local businesses and disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs) in the region, airport reps said. In total, the approximately 972,000 square-foot terminal will feature 35 gates, a 2,190-car parking garage, a central utility plant and a ground transportation staging area.  Portions of the existing facility, including the parking garages, will also be repurposed and used as part of the new airport complex.

         "As you know, due to the extraordinary growth at the airport, the airlines’ increase in flights, and the new British Airways and Condor wide-body aircraft service to London and Frankfurt, respectively, we are now positioned to continue to be an economic engine for the region," said Mark Reis, interim director of aviation for Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. "I am confident we will continue to celebrate good news at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.”

         “Simply put, our growth has surpassed all previously forecasted data. This is all good news for this airport and this region,” said Cheryl Teamer, chair of the New Orleans Aviation Board.

         Councilman Dominick Impastato, District 5 said, “The near $1 billion upgrade to our airport will result in a significant economic boost to Kenner and all of Jefferson Parish.  Our parish is already home to the second largest bank of hotel rooms in the region, and the expansions planned at the airport will only further strengthen our tax base. We applaud this development and look forward to its impact on our hospitality industry, retail base and community growth.”

         Monica del Rio, Southwest Airlines regional leader and airline chair of the North Terminal Steering Committee said, “The growth at MSY benefits the entire community both economically and by providing greater access to domestic and international destinations.  The North Terminal expansion will be key to accommodating the updated activity forecast at Louis Armstrong International Airport.”

         New Orleans Councilman Jared Brossett, chair of the Transportation and Aviation Committee said, “The North Terminal at Louis Armstrong International Airport is bringing a world-class airport to a world-class city. It will expand economic development opportunities and be a beautiful first impression for our visitors. As New Orleans continues to be a premier destination, our goal is to make the entire airport experience more enjoyable for all visitors by improving travel to and from the Greater New Orleans region."

         District C Councilmember Nadine M. Ramsey said, “I am pleased that the New Orleans Aviation Board has approved the expansion of the Louis Armstrong International Airport.  The expansion represents a 14 percent increase in the number of gates and signals New Orleans’ return to being a truly international city.  The construction of the terminal will provide jobs for the local community and attract new industry to the region.  New Orleans is on the move and I look forward to all of our citizens participating in this growth.

         Mayor E. “Ben” Zahn, III said, "The demand that has necessitated the expansion of our world-class airport during construction is incredibly good news for the region – and particularly for the city of Kenner.  It is evident our region is a popular destination for visitors from all over the world. This can be an economic development game-changer for all of us.”

         Councilwoman-At-Large, Division A, Maria DeFrancesch said, “The expansion of the New Orleans International Airport has generated increased interest in the airline industry bringing in many new airlines. The city will continue to work with the airport to insure the expansion of the airport will be a positive for the citizens of Kenner.”

         Louisiana State Representative, District 91, Walt Leger said, “The further expansion of the new North Terminal at Louis Armstrong International Airport is indicative of the path that we are on as a city. We are experiencing a period of ongoing growth that extends our reach beyond our neighboring states all the way to London and Frankfurt. This expansion will provide the necessary infrastructure and support to boost our local economy along with our international standing. The airport is the first impression of a city, and this project ensures that our first impression will do us justice.”

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