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Airport Construction Wrapping Up - 12/1/2012 -

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As we enter the December holiday season and approach the new year, I am happy to report we are completing the final touches on all of the construction and wrapping up our $356 million modernization program. We, at the airport, are excited about the changes and I know our passengers that have not been in the airport recently will be impressed by the new décor, the new shops and the new restaurants.

The new look of the terminal is taking shape as the transformation from the old to the new becomes reality. Our team is happy to announce that many dust walls are coming down signaling the end of construction. Most importantly, the interior terminal phase of the modernization is now moving at a fast pace. For example, the remodeled entrance to the parabola that is the site for Concourse C is now open, allowing in natural light while opening up the lobby. New escalators are being installed in key areas of the terminal with more to come. New gleaming trash receptacles have been placed throughout the terminal and seating is being reupholstered. Down in baggage claim, most of the dust walls around the baggage carousels are down and the installation of the back-lit columns is almost complete. In the walkway between Concourses C and D, the expanded Westwin News has reopened with a new contemporary look. On Concourse D, the new Essence News is open and Jazz Essence has re-opened on the concourse next to the new Perlis Cajun Clothing. In the East Terminal pre-security, the Creole Kitchen is once again open with twice the space and on Concourse B, Zatarainís Kitchen, the first of our new restaurants, opened for business before Thanksgiving. Eateries throughout the airport scheduled for completion this month are WOW Wingery, Ye Olde College Inn, Copelandís Cheesecake Factory and Dookey Chase, the anchor restaurant in the terminal.

In other airport news, we were pleased in the latter part of November to announce additional air service and a new destination by Frontier Airlines, one of our 10 airlines serving the greater New Orleans metro area. Beginning February 1, 2013, Frontier will operate a direct flight to Trenton, NJ with a Monday and Friday frequency on their 138-seat Airbus 319 to the Trenton-Mercer airport, located 38 miles from downtown Philadelphia and 65 miles from midtown Manhattan. Frontier is a low fare carrier that also operates a seasonal flight to their Denver hub from New Orleans. We continue to work towards reaching the 10 million passenger mark with new destinations. Every new flight will push us closer to that goal.

This has been a very productive year and I am extremely proud of our team and the results they have accomplished in the last two and half years, during which time I have had the privilege to lead them. I recently had a chance to share with them the fact that they are making history together.

For the last few years, the New Orleans Aviation Board and staff have concentrated on changing the look, the operation and the transparency of the airport. It is evident to me and I hope it is evident to the community we serve.


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