FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 18, 2011
Ryan Berni- Mayor Landrieu
MAYOR LANDRIEU CALLS FOR ROBUST ANALYSIS ON FUTURE OF LOUIS ARMSTRONG NEW ORLEANS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Asks Aviation Board for a Financially-feasible Plan for World-class Airport
NEW ORLEANS, LA-- Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu asked the New Orleans Aviation Board to undertake an in-depth and robust analysis of proposals for the future of the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY). One option is to build a brand new, state-of-the-art airport terminal on the north side of current airport property, which was rated very highly in MSY’s master plan. The other alternative is expanding the airport adjacent to and west of the existing facility.
“The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport serves as a gateway to millions of tourists and business travelers each year and is a critical driver for the creation of jobs and economic development,” said Mayor Landrieu. “Improving our airport is integral to our success as a world-class travel destination and hub for commerce. Recently, significant progress has been made to improve the air service, facilities and customer experience at MSY. However, we know we have a long way to go to achieve the world-class airport that this City deserves. Our current facility is over 50 years old, and as a result of our crumbling infrastructure and other factors that drive costs up, we’ve seen the cost per enplanement (the cost to airlines to operate service from MSY) increase over the last several years, putting New Orleans at a competitive disadvantage to other cities with lower costs. MSY’s facilities must enable it to achieve excellent customer service, amenities and most importantly, connectivity and more direct flights.”
Mayor Landrieu has requested that the Aviation Board immediately undertake an in-depth and robust analysis of the proposed northside plans and make a recommendation to him for further action. The analysis should include:
- financial feasibility
- environmental impact
- design, and
- operational impacts, including potential uses for the existing terminal and surrounding infrastructure.
This report should also include:
- comparative analysis between the westside and northside options;
- cost-benefit analysis of continuing with current plans to improve the existing facility infrastructure, including the terminal and ground transportation improvements, in light of the potential construction of a new or expanded facility.
"As a governing board we have been tasked with delivering a sound plan to build a world class airport, and that is what we intend to do,” said Nolan Rollins, Chairman of the New Orleans Aviation Board.
“I appreciate Mayor Landrieu’s faith in the new team at MSY,” added Iftikhar Ahmad, Director of Aviation. “We will do everything possible to deliver an airport facility that mirrors the greatness of this city.”
MSY is a critical asset for the City, the region and the State. MSY carries approximately 80% of the State’s enplanements. It provides over 12,450 direct and indirect jobs for our community and facilitates over $2.6 billion in tourism spending. Additionally, MSY exceeded 8.2 million passengers in 2010 with a 5.1% increase from 2009, a post-Katrina high.
Mayor Landrieu closed, “As the 300th anniversary of New Orleans approaches in 2018, my vision is to create a world-class, international airport that will continue the economic vitality of our region. For over 30 years, we have studied this issue, and we have collectively rejected proposals to move the airport to other locations. We cannot afford to let another 30 years go by without a clear path forward. We will only pursue a course of action that is in the best interest of the citizens of the New Orleans – one that is financially feasible and delivers a strong return on investment. ”
The Mayor’s full letter to the Aviation Board is attached.
Michelle C. Wilcut
Deputy Director of Human Resources, Training & Customer Service
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
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