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2015 Goals for Armstrong International - 1/1/2015 -

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2015 Goals for Armstrong International

By Iftikhar Ahmad
Director of Aviation
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport

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.

Infrastructure. The 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.

Operations. To 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.

Finance. The 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 options.

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 new year.

Iftikhar Ahmad, Director of Aviation for Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport may be reached at airport@flymsy.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.


 

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