April 28 2014 | Latest NewsBy Mark Waller, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
The publication Airline Weekly reported that Louis Armstrong International Airport was the fastest growing United States airport in terms of passenger traffic from 2012 to 2013. The 7 percent growth rate beat Houston, Austin and San Jose, Calif., which all showed 6 percent growth.
Next on the list were Charlotte, North Carolina, Nashville, Chicago, Seattle, and Los Angeles, which each had 5 percent growth. A chart from Airline Weekly says New Orleans benefited from Southwest Airlines' expanding and Spirit Airlines' adding flights.
Michael Hecht, president of the GNO, Inc., economic development group, touted the Airline Weekly ranking Monday. Travel, tourism and economic development officials have been arguing recently that New Orleans needs to add direct, international flights.
A report last month placed the New Orleans airport's raw ranking at 37th busiest in the United States, moving 4.4 million passengers over a period from 2012 into 2013. Another report showed 9.2 million passengers in the calendar year of 2013.
Planning is underway for a new, $826 million terminal at Armstrong.