Construction Begins On New North Terminal At Louis Armstrong New Orleans international Airport

NEW ORLEANS – Mayor Mitch Landrieu joined the New Orleans Aviation Board (NOAB), regional elected officials, business and tourism leaders yesterday to break ground on the new North Terminal complex at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. The 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 due to its modern design and open architectural concept.

         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 over 13,000 new construction jobs and significant opportunities for local businesses and disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs) in the region. In total, the 760,500 square-foot terminal will feature 30 gates, a 2,000-car parking garage, a central utility plant and a ground transportation staging area.

         “As the most transformative project for New Orleans since the Superdome, the new North Terminal project will create new jobs and unmatched business opportunities for the people of New Orleans and southeast Louisiana,” Mayor Landrieu said, noting the projected $1.7 billion in economic impact from construction and $3.2 billion in expected annual economic impact on tourism. “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.”

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         Aviation Board Executive Director Iftikhar Ahmad said, “The airport is taking off. We now have 52 direct flights on 14 airlines.  That’s an all-time high. In 2015, we hosted more than 10 million passengers. That’s another record. Today, as we break ground at the new North Terminal, we take another major step forward. Getting here was not easy. It took a lot of hard work by our team and strong partnerships with the airlines, the FAA and local community leaders to reach this point. We’re excited to bring this new terminal to our great city.”

         In February 2014, Mayor Landrieu and NOAB unveiled conceptual renderings of the terminal complex that features two concourses with 30 gates, a consolidated checkpoint, seamless connections between concourses and 2000 parking garage spaces. The North Terminal design team consists of acclaimed architect Cesar Pelli of Pelli Clarke Pelli, Manning Architects, Crescent City Aviation Team and Leo A. Daly/ Atkins. 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.

         In December 2015, Mayor Landrieu ceremoniously signed a $598 million contract with 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. The contract sets the opening day for the new terminal at Oct. 1, 2018.

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         Cheryl Teamer, Chair of the New Orleans Aviation Board, said, “This is a proud and momentous day for one of the most important projects for the future of our region.  I look forward to guiding the Board and its staff as work to complete this transformative project.”

         The new North Terminal facility will provide the following strategic advantages. Funding sources for the program include FAA AIP grants, TSA grants, Louisiana State Aviation Trust Fund grants, PFC collections, General Airport Revenue Bonds and Aviation Board Capital Funds. There is no investment by the City of New Orleans.


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         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 on-board 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 inter-modal facility




         In August 2011, Mayor Landrieu requested that the Aviation Board undertake an in-depth and robust analysis of the proposed north side plans looking at financial feasibility, environmental impact, design, and operational impacts, including potential uses for the existing terminal and surrounding infrastructure.

         Shortly thereafter, the Aviation Board issued requests for proposals for design, program management, environmental, land use, and financial feasibility consultants. A team of airport consultants was selected using Mayor Landrieu’s reformed competitive selection procurement process. That team has evaluated four different alternatives- refurbishment of the existing terminal, expansion on the south side, a new terminal on the west side, and a new terminal on the north side. Each of these options would allow continued use of the current runways and would be located within the airport’s existing property footprint.

         Funding for the new terminal project will come from various airport self-generated funds along with federal and state aviation grants. The City of New Orleans will not be funding any part of the new terminal project. Additionally, by law, airport funding cannot be used for non-airport improvements.

         MSY got its start in 1959 as a new terminal and two new concourses were dedicated at Moisant Field, which was used as an air base during World War II. The official name of the airport was changed in 1960 from Moisant Field to New Orleans International Airport, but its three letter identifier remained MSY for Moisant Stock Yards. That original terminal is still in use today.

         The first major expansion occurred in 1974 with the addition of two new concourses at the east end of the main terminal. This brought the total number of gates to 42. Several other expansions have occurred since that time. In early 2013, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Airport and regional officials unveiled more than $300 million in improvements at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, part of an Airport Modernization Program that includes a new and bright interior with a refurbished ticket lobby, expanded concourse, improved baggage claim, remodeled restrooms, updated exterior, a new car rental facility and new retail and restaurant offerings. Those improvements will be utilized over the next five years, and then will be used in the repurposing of the existing terminal.

         Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is owned by the City of New Orleans and governed by the New Orleans Aviation Board.




         District D Councilmember Jared C. Brossett, who serves as Chair of the New Orleans City Council's Airport Committee said, "Today is an exciting day for me as chair of the Council Transportation and Airport Committee. This is the symbolic beginning of construction and over the coming months we will begin to see our new airport terminal take shape. What we will be witnessing will not just be the birth of a pretty new building, but the birth of a new moment of economic opportunity for New Orleans. Whether it is construction jobs, expansion of local and minority-owned small contractors, or the boost to our trade and tourism industries from improved facilities, I am confident that we are poised for growth.”

         District A Councilmember Susan G. Guidry said, "Our great city is known all over the world for our delicious food and wonderful music; however, we were lacking an airport facility that served as an adequate first impression.  We will finally have a state-of-the-art terminal that can pleasantly welcome visitors as soon as they step off of the plane. Plus, the upgrade to the airport will boost tourism, create jobs and have a huge economic impact."

         District C Councilmember Nadine M. Ramsey said, “The Council recently put into place more stringent rules that will ensure a greater level of local and minority participation in the airport project. In addition to creating jobs, it is so important to have a world class airport as the first experience for the millions of tourists and conventioneers who visit our City every year and are drive the economic engine. We must capture the economic benefit of these large projects locally as much as possible, especially when we have 43.8% of children under the age of 18 living below the poverty line.”



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