New Orleans Aviation Board Breaks Ground on New Airport Terminal (VIDEO)
Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the New Orleans Aviation Board (NOAB) have unveiled plans for a new airport terminal.
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. The airport development project is part of a larger economic revitalization for the city. Ahead of New Orleans' 300th anniversary in 2018, officials also intend to redevelop the city's riverfront and biomedical district. Additionally, a new hospital in 2015 will provide another boost to the local economy.
"As the most transformative project for New Orleans since the Superdome, this development will create new jobs and unmatched business opportunities for the people of New Orleans. For over 40 years, people talked about developing an airport that was reflective of our city, yet for decades there was little action and minimal collaboration. We did the hard work, leveraged our relationships with federal, state and local partners, and today a financially feasible, world-class airport is on the way,” said Mayor Landrieu, noting the projected $1.7 billion in economic impact from construction and $3.2 billion in expected annual economic impact on tourism.
The newly unveiled conceptual renderings showcase the 650,000-square-foot terminal complex's two concourses with 30 gates, a consolidated checkpoint, seamless connections between concourses and 2000 parking garage spaces. The $826 Million development includes plans for a $72 million power plant project, $87 million for a flyover addition from I-10 to improve access to the airport, and $17 million for an on-site hotel.
"When millions of people visit New Orleans each year—whether for work or pleasure—one of the first and last places they see and experience is our airport," said U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu."As the needs of our city continue to grow, our ability to handle the influx of passengers must grow too. A new, modernized terminal that is more passenger friendly with increased connectivity will help us accommodate our expanding tourism industry and the business community that is making New Orleans one of the fastest growing cities in the country. I look forward to working with the Mayor, local officials and stakeholders to make this new terminal a reality."
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is a critical asset for the city, the region and state, NOAB officials said. It currently serves 80 percent of Louisiana’s commercial air traffic, provides over 12,450 direct and indirect jobs for the community, and facilitates over $2.6 billion in tourism spending. In 2013, MSY saw over 9 million passengers.
The project also comes at a time for expansion in New Orleans' cruise industry. Along with New York and Galveston, Texas, New Orleans has seen an increase in home porting that looks set to continue into 2014.
According to NOAB officials, key advantages of the airport expansion include:
- The new terminal will provide convenient access and reduced drive time to the facility for both east and westbound I-10 travelers
- Separate arrivals and departure road systems on east and west side of the North Terminal will reduce curbside congestion and enhance passenger convenience
- Efficient design will reduce walking distances and improve the passenger experience
- Consolidated security check point will decrease passenger wait times and provide improved screening capabilities for processing large groups of conventioneers and cruise ship passengers during peak periods
- Post-security connected concourses will improve passenger transfers
- The number of restroom facilities will triple, which will improve customer convenience
- Concourse concessions will have improved access with an open and spacious feeling for passengers and unobstructed exterior views by being placed in the center of the concourse
- Dual aircraft taxi lanes will improve airline efficiency by reducing aircraft wait times so that the passengers do not wait onboard the aircraft for access to a gate
- An onsite state-of-the-art hotel
- Proper pre- and post-security allocations of concessions will increase concessions revenues there by decreasing airline cost which will pave the way for more service to New Orleans
- The North Terminal will reduce maintenance and utility costs as compared to the existing inefficient and outdated terminal facility
- The North Terminal gates will be sufficiently spaced to accommodate today’s larger aircraft with increased wingspans
- A consolidated loading dock is included in the Terminal design to improve security and reduce costs by improving operational efficiency
- The new terminal will allow for general aviation and corporate aviation growth on the south side of the airport which will increase business in the region and will provide non-airline revenue
- The new terminal will pave the way for the future planned intermodal facility
"This is just another great example of the strength and resilience of the people of this area,” said Kristy Nichols, Louisiana Commissioner of Administration. "This airport is so important, not just to New Orleans, but to the whole state, and this terminal will represent another great step for Louisiana.”