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New MSY terminal celebrates 1st anniversary

Wednesday (Nov. 6) marks the official opening of the new $1 billion terminal at Louis Armstrong...
Wednesday (Nov. 6) marks the official opening of the new $1 billion terminal at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.(WVUE FOX 8 News)
Updated: Nov. 6, 2020 at 10:59 AM CST
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KENNER, La. (WVUE) - The new airport terminal at Armstrong International Airport marks one year since its opening.

As city leaders and airport officials are set to celebrate the milestone, it comes during a time of uncertainty in the air travel industry.

One year ago, people were eager to just get inside and see what the new terminal had to offer from a new aged design, updated amenities and a wealth of local food options. The new MSY had a lot going for it but there were hiccups, a few baggage issues and long lines for ride-share pickups.

While some of those issues got smoothed out over time, it was unknown that what would deal the biggest blow would be the coronavirus pandemic.

Louis Armstrong saw a nearly 97 percent reduction in air travelers in the month of April. In may that reduction was about 93 percent setting into motion a series of months with anemic numbers. And while the airport has seen growth since then, it’s not near where the prospect was this time last year.

In a bid to comply with restrictions and create a safe environment for travelers, crews at the airport implemented social distancing standards, increased plexiglass use in areas, adding hand sanitizer station and frequently sanitizing high touch areas.

But, despite the restrictions, some travelers who continue to fly say they’re still impressed with the airport and it’s staff and look forward to better days in the air.

“It’s awesome. Beautiful. They did a great job. I think everything they did we needed and flying out to other airports. Coming back here, it makes you appreciate it,” says Debbie Knighten.

The Mayor Latoya Cantrell is expected to walk through Friday morning to celebrate the anniversary as the airport continues to recover from the pandemic.

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