The opening of the new North Terminal at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, Louisiana, has been pushed back from May 15 to fall 2019, following a consultation with key stakeholders over the progress of construction activities.
“This is a once in a lifetime investment that will benefit our city, region, state, and all of our people,” said LaToya Cantrell, New Orleans mayor. “I accept the responsibility of making sure that when our new airport opens, it is at 100% readiness. The fact is, it is not ready, and there is more work to be done to get us there. I fully support the additional time needed and look forward to opening our new, completely operational facility at its peak on day one.”
According to The City of New Orleans and the New Orleans Aviation Board, the adjusted schedule will provide more time for testing, training and implementation of key systems to transition operations to the new terminal. It will also give local residents time to become accustomed to the new access routes.
Doug Thornton, chair of the New Orleans Aviation Board Construction Committee, said, “Throughout the construction process, the Board has received progress updates, and we believe that this decision is in the best interest of our partners and the community. We can easily continue to operate in our existing facility during this short period until the new terminal is ready for full activation. It’s a big and complicated project, so it’s important we take this time to ensure that all systems are fully functional.”
As a result, the airport will continue with its plans to conduct real-life passenger trials prior to facility opening. In the coming weeks, the airport will solicit volunteers of all ages and travel experience to participate in trials to be conducted before the opening of the terminal. A specific opening date will be confirmed in advance of the move, so the general public and other stakeholders can make any necessary preparations.
When complete, the 972,000ft2 terminal will feature three concourses, 35 gates, two new garages and a surface parking lot next to the terminal, plus a remote economy garage with shuttle service. It will also feature modern passenger conveniences including a consolidated checkpoint where passengers will have access to over 40 different food, beverage, news, gift, and specialty retail concessions once they are beyond security.