The board overseeing plans to construct a new terminal at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport gave the official green light to a $178-million, five-gate expansion for the airport’s North Terminal project and set a new opening date of February 2019 for the entire facility. The expansion brings the overall project cost to $993 million.

The New Orleans Aviation Board formally voted March 16 to expand and finance the airport’s North Terminal project, bringing the total number of gates to 30 to 35. Rather than open the new terminal in phases, the board decided to open the new facility in its entirety in February 2019 so as to avoid any logistical issues.

Construction on the new terminal is under way and on schedule. The design and environmental review processes for the five-gate expansion are expected to be complete this spring.

“The expansion of the North Terminal Project will change the landscape for economic growth in our city and across the region. It will create over 13,000 direct construction jobs and open the door for our airport to compete for more direct flights and more affordable fares,” says New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

Announced in April 2013, the new North Terminal will be built on the north side of the existing airport property, and officials expect it to create thousands of new construction jobs.

Hunt-Gibbs-Boh-Metro is the construction manager at-risk for the project. The group is a joint venture of Hunt Construction Group of Indianapolis and New Orleans companies Gibbs Construction, Boh Bros. Construction Co. and Metro Service Group.

In addition to its 35 gates, the 972,000-sq-ft terminal will feature a 2,190-car parking garage, a central utility plant and a ground transportation staging area. Portions of the existing facility, including the parking garages, will be repurposed and used as part of the new airport complex.