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How the new airport terminal will look (image: Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport)

US$1bn airport terminal to open

The new terminal at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport comes as passenger traffic hits an all-time high.

A couple of months before the opening of a new $1 billion airport terminal in New Orleans comes news that the airport’s passenger traffic hit another new high in 2018, the Times-Picayune newspaper reports.

A little over 13.1 million people used Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport last year, a rise of 9.3% from 2017 and the fourth consecutive year of growth.

Because of the increasingly tight capacity, the city’s new $1 billion terminal will be opening just in time on May 15. Airport parking is often full at weekends and new routes are constantly being launched, most recently to Louisville, Sacramento, San Jose and Montego Bay in Jamaica.

The airport saw an average of 159 flights per day in 2018, nine more than in 2017. Passenger traffic has increased by 60% since 2010.

The ultra-low-cost leisure carrier Sun Country Airlines arrived in 2018, flying from its base in Minneapolis-Saint Paul.

But the only full-year scheduled service from Europe is by British Airways, which started flying between London and New Orleans in spring 2017. Condor operates seasonal flights from Frankfurt, also since 2017.

It is not yet clear whether the new airport terminal will attract more airlines to fly direct from Europe.

35 gates
Situated on the north side of the existing property, the new terminal will have 35 gates and three concourses. That will technically be fewer gates than today, but a number of gates at the aging airport have been closed for years.

It will also add a lot of much-needed parking, including short-term multi-level parking with 2,190 spaces, a long-term parking structure with 2,750 spaces, and a surface parking area.

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