Mayor Mitch Landrieu made an unofficial announcement this week that could be his legacy as mayor if he can pull it off: the mayor unofficially said New Orleans will have a new international airport.
Mayor Landrieu made the comment at Dillard University earlier this week. New Orleans native and former UN ambassador and Atlanta mayor Andrew Young was there. Ironically those two were discussing why Atlanta has seen amazing growth over the last 30 years while New Orleans has been stagnant, at best.
Young talked about the importance of the Atlanta airport and growing it to help grow the city. Atlanta now has a metro population larger than the entire state of Louisiana’s and their airport, Hartsfield–Jackson, is the busiest in the world (1).
Landrieu realizes what Atlanta knew over 3 decades ago: grow your airport and you’ll grow your city. Make your airport state-of-the-art so your city can be too. The mayor is talking about building what would essentially be a new airport in the same footprint in Kenner, highlighted by a brand new terminal, north of the existing one, for somewhere in the billion dollar plus range. An additional airport access road would be part of the equation as well.
Louis Armstrong International may be the best named airport anywhere; it doesn’t get much better than that. If Landrieu can see his plan through to completion, maybe our airport will finally be worthy of that name.