The City of New Orleans and the New Orleans Aviation Board (NOAB) have secured an additional US$35m in funding for the new 35-gate replacement airport terminal currently under construction at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY).
The extra funding increase includes a US$20.3m airport infrastructure grant from the FAA as part of its Airport Improvement Program (AIP) for airports across the USA. This brings the total cost for the new terminal construction project – which will deliver a completely new, state-of-the-art airport facility to the Greater New Orleans region –from US$993.7m to US$1.029bn.
The terminal construction project is currently more than 75% complete, and the new funding sources will enable the airport to add new features into the project that will further enhance the operations for airlines and passengers, support continued coordination with architectural designers as the project approaches completion, increase the level of funds set aside for any necessary changes yet to be identified, and cover costs to address issues the contractors have come across in the construction process.
The airport’s contractors, Hunt-Gibbs-Boh-Metro Joint Venture (HGBM), are currently addressing an issue with settlement of a sewer line that requires an adjustment to the construction schedule. Because a functional sewer line is necessary for the facility to be completely operational, the board approved a new plan to open the terminal to the public on May 15, 2019, instead of the previously scheduled date in February 2019.
Kevin Dolliole, aviation director at NOAB, said, “It’s not every day that a project of this magnitude comes along in this country, and no city deserves a top-of-the-line new airport facility like New Orleans does. That’s why, as we enter the final phase of construction, we are diligently evaluating the project to maximize our use of resources and ensuring the proper checks and balances are in place.
“I’m pleased that we have a fully funded program that allows us add in features that will benefit the traveling public in the long run while maintaining affordable costs for the airlines.”
Announced in April 2013, the new terminal has been under construction on the north side of the airport property since January 2016. Once complete, all airlines, concessions and other airport operations will move to the new terminal. In total, the approximately 972,000ft² (90,300m²) terminal will feature three concourses, 35 gates, a new short-term and long-term parking garage and surface parking lot next to the terminal, plus an economy garage with shuttle service.
It will also feature modern passenger conveniences like 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. The current facility will be redeveloped.