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Airport Super Bowl Plan is Complete - 1/1/2013 -

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As I write this monthís report, I am pleased to say we are wrapping up our preparations for the Super Bowl to take place on February 3 in New Orleans. In my August report, I outlined what airport preparations were underway to welcome the National Football Conference (NFC) and American Football Conference (AFC) champions to our great city. It has required a great deal of planning and hard work by the New Orleans Aviation Board staff. Now the plan is complete and it is time to put it into action.

The greatest challenge, as I have stated before, will be the outbound traffic after the game because of the vast number of passengers that will be departing over the 48 hour period following the final whistle on the field. To make the outbound process work efficiently, we are incorporating a special 5-4-3-2-1 message for our outbound passengers. It works like this. Check out of your hotel five hours before your departure time; Turn in your rental car four hours before your departure time; Check in at the ticket counter three hours before your departure time; Be at the security screening checkpoint two hours before your departure time; And finally be at your gate one hour before your departure time. To expedite the screening of the thousands of passengers leaving after the game, additional security checkpoints will be in place as well as auxiliary locations for screening in the terminal and special sites on the airport grounds. Our New Orleans Aviation Board (NOAB) office staff along with our customer service representatives and numerous volunteers will be in the terminal to assist our passengers during their check-in process. We expect close to 50,000 passengers to use the airport in one day. On the departure side, thousands of passengers will go through in waves through the airportís three security checkpoints. With the new addition of security lanes and increased staff by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the passengers are expected to move along with minimal delay Ė if they follow the 5-4-3-2-1 plan.

Not only is this Super Bowl one of New Orleansí most important events in a decade, it has also served as our target date for completion of the $350 million airport terminal modernization. The final touches are in motion and we canít wait to showcase the results. It has been a pleasure to witness the embrace of our new amenities by our traveling public. Our new concessions and eateries such as the Saints Store and Zatarainís Kitchen are reporting record sales since they opened their doors. In the planning for a number of years, the mammoth undertaking of the completion of the terminal improvements in such a short period of time underscores the commitment the New Orleans Aviation Board has made to provide an aviation asset that our community can be proud to call their own. I encourage our readers to visit Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport to survey the new look and features. While you are here, visit the new shops for unique Louisiana gifts or dine in our newest restaurants. You donít have to be flying to visit. We welcome each and every one. In fact, we will soon be announcing our special dedication ceremony of the modernization scheduled to take place this month. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu will be joined by invited guests as he presides over the proceedings and it will be open to the public to attend. Please watch for the announcement by the local news media. You can also view the date when it is posted on our website, or on our Facebook page.

In the coming months, we plan to have an announcement about the results of our feasibility study concerning the next phase of the development of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. This will be exciting news. On behalf of the New Orleans Aviation Board and staff, I want to thank our communities for their support and to wish one and all a very happy new year.


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