Goals for Armstrong International
By Iftikhar Ahmad
Director of Aviation
Louis Armstrong New Orleans
It is a new year and with it comes expectations for great things
at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. The Airport has set key goals in three areas
to accomplish this year. These areas of
focus are Infrastructure, Operations and Finance.
Airport’s 2015 goal for the North Terminal Project is to complete the design of
the $650 million project and begin construction. The new Construction Manager at Risk team of
Hunt, Gibbs, Boh, Metro Joint Venture is working closely with the Crescent City
Aviation Team to finalize the facility design, stay within budget and establish
the construction schedule. The final design will reflect a world-class, iconic
structure that is uniquely New Orleans and will provide the utmost efficiencies.
Construction is slated to begin in August 2015 once the design is complete.
In addition to the North Terminal Project, staff will be focused
on completing the Airfield Electrical Rehabilitation project that involves the replacement
and improvement of airfield lighting, signage and electrical systems. This
project is currently 70% complete. We are also in the final phase of the Airport
Cargo Road Rehabilitation design and expect construction to begin later this
year. This project will repair and
enhance the existing roadway system throughout the cargo/general aviation area
of the Airport adjoining the southwest portion of the airfield.
provide more food and beverage choices for passengers, new eatery locations
have been designed and approved by the Airport. The locations for the additional food and
beverage concessions are in the east ticketing lobby near the Concourse B
checkpoint, Concourse B, and Concourse C.
These new options were needed because of the air service growth,
including Alaska Airlines’ new service to Seattle; Spirit Airlines’ expansion
of service to Chicago, Detroit, Ft. Lauderdale and Houston; and Southwest
Airlines’ new service to Austin, San Antonio, San Diego, Oakland and
Washington, D.C. Further, US Airways and
American Airlines have consolidated their operations on Concourse C, which is creating
more demand for additional amenities. Our goal is that the concessionaires will have
their stores open by mid-year.
We are also very focused and committed to robust Disadvantaged
Business Enterprise (DBE) and State and Local Disadvantaged Business Enterprise
(SLDBE) participation. These programs afford
opportunities for certified DBE and SLDBE businesses at the Airport. For projects funded with federal funds, a
specific DBE goal is set. For projects
funded by the Airport’s own revenues, an SLDBE goal is set. The DBE and SLDBE programs are managed and
tracked by the Airport’s DBE Liaison Officer.
Our goal in 2015 is to meet or exceed our set goals.
Airport’s goal for 2015 is to continue reducing the Airline Cost Per
Enplanement (CPE). The Airport is
projecting an $8.00 CPE for the airlines.
By lowering airline costs, the airlines will consider our Airport when
they seek to expand service. Further, it
will make our Airport more attractive to new airlines that may want to serve
our community. As Allegiant Air stated
when they announced service to New Orleans, the continued reduction of the CPE
was a deciding factor in starting service.
New service leads to more jobs, more amenities and better travel
Other financial goals for 2015 surround our new North Terminal
Project. The Airport is expected to
receive Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval of our Passenger
Facility Charge (PFC) application, which is one of the funding sources for the
Project. We are also seeking to
maintain our existing Airport credit rating.
By having a favorable rating, the Airport will be able to secure the
necessary bond financing for the Project.
We believe all of our goals are attainable and will enhance our
operations and benefit the community. As
we look ahead at the next 12 months, we are excited about the opportunities and
possibilities to benefit our great city and region. I look forward to sharing our successes throughout
the year. Wishing you a very happy and prosperous
Ahmad, Director of Aviation for Louis Armstrong New Orleans International
Airport may be reached at email@example.com. Check your local listings for the air time
of the Armstrong International Airport 30 minute television program, "Airport
Alive” or view it on the airport website, www.flymsy.com, by
clicking on the "Airport Alive” link on the "News and Stats” page. You can now
follow the airport on facebook.com/MSYAirport and Twitter @NO_Airport. To
find out how to be a volunteer at the airport, click on "Ambassador” on the
airport’s website homepage.