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Airport Improvement previews New Orleans International Airport

The iconic new terminal delivers an unforgettable passenger experience

When New Orleans wanted to transform the way air travelers experience the city, they sought out LEO A DALY to help lead the massive effort. Our aviation design team worked with joint-venture partners Atkins and a nationwide team of experts to execute the region’s largest construction project since Hurricane Katrina. With multiple options for where and how to build, and 34 different digital models in play at any one time, to call the project complicated would be an understatement.

With the new Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport set to open this fall, Airport Improvement magazine sat down with LEO A DALY’s Jordan Taylor, AIA, LEED AP, and Andrew Graham, AIA, NCARB, for a preview. The following is excerpted from the Airport Improvement article by Jodi Richards.

Move Over Mardi Gras, New Orleans Int’l is Opening a New Terminal

After nearly four years of construction, the new 35-gate terminal is scheduled to open this fall. A new 972,000-square-foot, three-concourse terminal is the star piece of MSY’s $1.029 billion capital program. A new apron and additional aircraft parking positions round out the investment, as well as enabling projects such as relocating the airfield lighting vault and FAA navigational aids, constructing a stormwater pump station and building a new airport roadway system.

Expressing it in decidedly local terms, the amount of concrete poured for the terminal project alone is equivalent to almost 174 million bowls of gumbo.

The need for a new terminal was multi-faceted, explains Kevin Dolliole, director of aviation. With portions dating back to the 1950s, the current building is a “patchwork of improvements over time, with facilities and infrastructure from different eras all connected together.” Evolving security requirements and operational needs have made it inefficient, and the aging infrastructure is costly to maintain and operate, he explains.

“We have a lot of space in the facility, but much of it is in the wrong place,” notes Jordan Taylor, aviation principal at LEO A DALY, which participated in the programming, planning and site analysis. Concessions are heavily concentrated pre-security, holdrooms are undersized and three separate security checkpoints are inefficient for processing passengers and TSA staffing.

But that’s all changing.

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