NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Airport officials are giving a sneak peek of the new one billion dollar terminal as they prepare to open the facility on November 6.
The long-awaited opening was finally revealed earlier this month after multiple setbacks since the start of construction in January 2016 but Thursday, residents will get the chance to see inside the state of the art facility for the first time.
The 927,000 square foot terminal will help handle the continued travel growth in the area as the FAA recently dubbed Armstrong International Airport as the fifth fastest growing airport in the country.
Experts say the numbers show a 36 percent increase in flyers now compared to pre-Katrina which is another reason to accommodate the growth.
State and local leaders also recently broke ground on the I-10 interchange project which will eventually help ease the traffic to the facility and divert non-airport traffic at the same times.
Airport officials credit the expansion to New Orleans’ growing economy, increasing international flights and cost efficiency for airlines.
“The economy is diversifying here. There’s a lot of reasons people want to come to New Orleans and do business and visit and all that shows in the growth that we’re seeing,” says Erin Burns, spokesperson with the New Orleans Louis Armstrong International Airport.
“Airplanes like the 787, which British Airways is using for the flight to London, or the airbus A350 are smaller planes that still allow folks to go long distances so that’s creating a lot of international travel that we’re also seeing,” says Michael Hect, President of GNO, Inc.
Now officials also want to stress that starting on November 6, there will be no more flights leaving or coming through the old terminal and you’ll want to make sure and plan to head to the new facility on or after that date.