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Project description: The new North Terminal at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport will feature three concourses, 35 gates, a 2,190-car parking garage and an in-line baggage system.
Project cost: $993.7 million
Start date: January 2014
Expected completion date: February 2019
Owner/developer: Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is owned by the City of New Orleans and governed by the New Orleans Aviation Board.
Program manager: WSP USA
Design team: Cesar Pelli of Pelli Clarke Pelli, Manning Architects, Crescent City Aviation Team and Leo A. Daly/Atkins.
Construction team: Construction manager Hunt-Gibbs-Boh-Metro. The group is a joint venture of Hunt Construction Group of Indianapolis and New Orleans companies Gibbs Construction, Boh Bros. Construction Co. and Metro Service Group.
One of the largest and most impactful infrastructure projects in the area’s history is poised to make its debut by the time spring arrives next year. The $993.7 million construction of a new north terminal at Louis Armstrong International Airport, its progress daily monitored by drivers and residents, will bring more capacity, expanded food and drink options and improved security to local, tourists and business travelers.
The expected completion date had at one point been October 2018—which would have been in time for New Orleans’ 300thanniversary. Now officials anticipate opening the terminal in February 2019.
The reason for that new date is not construction delays, but an increase in airport traffic. Airport figures show that the total number of enplaned passengers increased 7.6 percent year-over-year in 2017. The number of deplaned passengers increased 8 percent during that same time period.
Those increases resulted in the addition of five more gates and a third concourse to the construction plans, and revisions to the schedule.
“This region has been so successful in attracting more traffic to the area,” said Kevin Dolliole, airport director. “That dictated that the facility needed to be a bit larger.”
According to current plans, the new North Terminal will have 35 gates, with the capacity for 42 should those traffic trends continue. The project also includes a 2,000-space parking garage and a 17-lane, consolidated security checkpoint.
What really might catch the attention of travelers are the 69,000-square feet of concessions, with local brands including Leah’s Kitchen, Pizza Domenica, Willie Mae’s, Mondo and Folse Market.
When the 972,000-square-foot terminal opens, the transition will basically be “overnight,” Dolliole said. Then the airport will demolish concourses A, B and C. Authorities plan to use Concourse D for charter services and airport offices.
“We have hopefully mapped this one out in a way that disruption to traveling public will be very minimal,” he said.
After that comes decisions about what to do with the land that now holds current operations.
“We have to study how to redevelop those 200 acres,” Dolliole said. “There are some good things that can happen there.”
Airport authorities estimate that by 2023, the North Terminal will support 63,000 jobs. In total, the airport’s economic impact is expected to increase by 20 percent over the next six years, contributing to $6.4 billion in local spending and $2.4 billion in local earnings.
“When an airport is being totally redone, that is not a type of project that comes along every day,” he said.