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Building for the Future - 1/1/2012 -

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We believe that our journey to becoming a world class airport is not an event but a process. To get to the world class airport status, we are working on a feasibility study for a new airport terminal to be constructed on the Airport property associated with steady progress on the completion of our $300 million dollar modernization of the existing terminal.

In October, we celebrated the completion of the Concourse D expansion. This ultra-modern extension will serve as a first step in what will become the "new look” for Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. The terminal is being upgraded under a phased method of capital projects.The next phase in planning and design is Phase IV Terminal Improvements. It is expected to be the final phase in the current Terminal Improvements package scheduled to be completed by the Super Bowl in 2013. I am excited about Phase IV because it will upgrade the look of the existing terminal. At the November New Orleans Aviation Board (NOAB) meeting,the board was presented with a briefing on the Phase IV renovation by Mr. Daniel Taylor of Perez Architects and in the December meeting they approved a request to advertise for a solicitation for Terminal Improvement Phase IV – Terminal Improvements Project with a set DBE goal of 35.08%. The in-house legislative approval by the board to proceed now opens the opportunity for construction bids for this phase.Potential contractors can view the details for any bid on our website, when they are posted.

At present, our Airport has dated concourses that have no visual tie to each other. The purpose of the new design, as earlier alluded to, will be to unify the terminal with features that are carried throughout the Airport, to improve way-finding and create excitement using color and light. The improvements will consist of the following: Neutral background (durable wall base, durable wainscot, wall treatment – paint), pleasing Animated Suspended Ceiling Forms (multi-layered, multicolored)in the alcoves, Illuminated Wall Planes, Modern Furniture, Dramatic Lighting Elements, Improved and Fresh Signage (electronic and analog) displaying information in the languages now on existing signage, and decentralized Passenger Welcome and Information Areas. Specific areas slated for upgrades will be the Ticket Lobby, Concourse D Atrium and Baggage Claim. In the Ticket Lobby, the flags that have been the visual feature in the area will come down and the new highlight of the lobby will be a composite sculpture that will abstractly mimic a meandering mighty Mississippi river.The Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) bulky x-ray machines will move behind screen partitions that will be located behind the new counters and in baggage claim, gone will be the dark, cave like feeling that our arriving passengers now experience when collecting their luggage. When we have completed the changes, Armstrong International Airport will be a new environment for aviation travel to and from the Greater New Orleans Metro area.

In other construction news, the NOAB approved a request at the October NOAB meeting from Southwest Airlines to refurbish Concourse B, their location for MSY flight departures and arrivals. We estimate the cost of this refurbishment to be around three million dollars. Their design will be reviewed by the NOAB for compatibility with the other changes underway and will include a welcomed upgrade to the Concourse B security checkpoint. The renovation and reconfiguration of the checkpoint should eliminate the long lines our passengers now endure in that area and improve the ingress and egress circulation.I am excited about the future changes coming to Armstrong International Airport. We are already receiving compliments on the work completed in Phases I, II, and III. Stay tuned, because the best is yet to come.


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