KENNER, La. (WVUE) - Wednesday (May 15) was supposed to mark the opening of Kenner’s new bustling, billion-dollar airport. Instead, crews were still building and working on the finishing touches, after the opening was delayed yet again.
Kevin Dolliole is the aviation director of the airport and said the delay was a necessary decision.
“It gives everyone and everything more time to be completed for proper coordination systems properly tested to go in,” Dolliole said.
Dolliole said that’s because the terminal simply wasn’t ready and fault doesn’t fall completely on airport projects. Considering all the tenants the new airport will house, from the restaurants, store fronts, TSA and others, and coordinating all those contractors, they had no choice but to push the date back.
“Concessions build-outs ongoing that need to be completed and different tenants - the airline, TSA, the CBP customs and border patrol folks need to complete the installation of their equipment, some of it based on base building completion, and they can go in and do their work. So it’s a good variety of things ongoing that still need to be completed,” Dolliole said.
Work on the three concourses, with 35 total gates is also still in progress. All of the gates sit by floor-to-ceiling hurricane-proof glass, and down the center of the concourses travelers will be able to enjoy both local and national food, drink and shopping options.
“It’s a very large, very complex project, and it takes a lot of effort lot of coordinating good people to keep this project moving forward,” Dolliole said.
Although the latest opening date has been projected for something this Fall, people may not need to wait that long to check out the new MSY. Dolliole said they plan on holding “open houses” for locals, not only so residents can become accustomed and comfortable with the new terminal, but also so airport staff can find any problems during those open houses and fix them before opening the doors.
“As people are moving through the facility and using different pieces of it, we pick up hitches and can correct hitches before we open,” Dolliole said.
And while Dolliole said he wants to see the doors to the new terminal open as soon as possible, he said their goal is for opening day to be a success.
“It means a lot for the community to have this facility coming online and I think the community deserves it,” Dolliole said.
Dolliole said they’re still working to set a new target date to open, saying it will be sometime in the Fall of this year.
He said they’re also looking for people who want to volunteer and take part in the open houses.
For more information on that, go to www.thenewmsy.com