LAFAYETTE, La. (KADN)- The Lafayette Airport Commission gave a first-look of the nearly completed new terminal to the Mayor-President Josh Guillory and city and parish council members on Monday.
According to Steven Picou, the executive director of the Lafayette Regional Airport, the new terminal will be open on January 1, 2022.
“We broke ground on this building in November of 2019, we said 24 months. Today is November 1. Today we’ve reached substantial completion on the building,” Picou said.
The new terminal is 120,000 sq ft, twice the size of the previous one. There are five departure and arrival gates, enough space for up to three TSA lines, two rooms specifically for mothers, and a service animal relief area.
“The building is in a position where we could operate out of it,” Picou added.
Abraham “AB” Rubin Jr., a Lafayette parish council member, said that this new terminal will be a great welcome to all that visit Acadiana.
“A lot of times when they come into the old airport they see the small airport and they’re like ‘Oh Lord, where am I now? Coming into country bumpkin.’ So, this airport will change a lot of people's minds,” Rubin said.
Once visitors arrive at the passenger pick-up and drop-off area, they will be standing under a canopy that represents the colors of the Acadian flag.
Visitors will also have access to restaurants and bars on both sides of the security checkpoint.
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression. And people that have visited any community the first impression is the airport,” Glenn Lazard, a member of the Lafayette city council, said.
Throughout the airport, there is energy-efficient LED lighting, a state-of-the-art announcement system, and sage glass in the rotunda.
Mayor-president Josh Guillory believes that this new airport is a game-changer and he is pleased with the progress that has been made.
“I love the partnership with the community. You know, therefore commission did it right. They asked the voters to support an initiative that had a sunset provision they had a tangible project that this was going to fund and they had a time period in which the tax would go away. And this is how you build trust between government and the local, local population,” Guillory said.
The new terminal cost $150 million to complete and it was funded in part by $34 million in sales tax money approved by Lafayette voters back in 2014.