The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport has officially opened its new North Terminal. Officials said that the new 35-gate, $1 billion terminal will accommodate further growth at the airport, which is now the fifth-fastest-growing airport in the United States.
Design for the terminal was developed and completed by the Crescent City Aviation Team (CCAT), a joint venture of Atkins and LEO A DALY. CCAT led the design of the airport terminal, its three concourses, concession program, two parking garages, miscellaneous aviation radar and electrical facilities, the pump station, airside aprons and landside roadway systems. The terminal design was based on an initial concept by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects.
The new terminal aims to immerse visitors in the culture, geography and history of the Big Easy, with soft curves calling to mind the Mississippi River and skylights letting in dappled natural light and evoking the city’s tree-shaded urban markets. A jazz garden in the terminal’s three-story central atrium will host live performances, while a massive glass-sealed image taken by a local photographer of live oak trees in morning fog is the focal point of the terminal’s main elevator.
To improve passenger flow, a single security checkpoint serves both foreign and domestic flights and adapts to accommodate large crowds during special events, such as Jazz Fest and Mardi Gras. The terminal was also designed with an opened, layered feeling in mind, with prominent views of the airfield, in order to make it easy to navigate. The concession program celebrates the city’s rich culinary, music, and arts heritage.
Other elements of the design provide resistance to storms: A spherical roof shape allows long spans while accommodating heavy rainfall. Extensive wind-tunnel modeling and on-site testing resulted in a glass curtain wall able to withstand hurricane-force winds, officials said.
The 35-gate terminal includes the six-gate Concourse A, which was added nine months into construction to accommodate increasing demand for domestic and international travel to the city.