The New LFT Terminal opened on Thursday, January 20, when the first flights departed the new terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport and the process of decommissioning the old terminal began.
The successful path to opening the New LFT Terminal without any debt began on December 6, 2014, when voters overwhelmingly approved a one-cent sales tax lasting eight months, to support its construction. Almost 60 percent of the votes cast supported the tax which could not be extended and was dedicated for the sole purpose of constructing the new terminal. Between April 1, 2015, and November 30, 2015, $33 million was collected from the temporary tax jumpstarting the funding process for the $150 million construction project, the largest in Lafayette Parish in decades. This local funding served as a match to federal and state funding, a partnership that made the project possible.
- The Lafayette Airport Commission (LAC) chose three nationally-recognized firms to complete the project: RS&H, a leading aviation architectural and engineering firm was hired in June 2016 to design the terminal; CBRE Heery International, a leading project management and construction management firm was hired to oversee the project for the LAC in March 2016; the Lemoine Company and Manhattan Construction Company (a joint venture) was awarded the construction contract in November 2017.
- In addition to Lemoine, 17 local subcontractors worked on the project, including Domingue Szabo & Associates, MBSB Group, Eustis Engineering, Royal Engineers, Sellers & Associates, Bernhard MCC, E.P. Breaux Electrical, Elliot Construction, Himmel’s Arch, Door & Hardware, JMA Painters, Louisiana Testing and Inspection, Patriot Construction, Siema Construction, Siemens and Southern Constructors, LLC.
- RS&H developed multiple concepts and prepared two for presentation to the LAC for consideration – named Spirit and Journey. The LAC turned to the public to rate the designs before making their selection. Over two weeks, 5,110 people rated the concepts through engagement at libraries, civic organizations, community centers and on the airport’s website, recommending Journey. The LAC confirmed the Journey design in February 2017.
- RS&H met with local community leaders to help understand the Acadiana region, which influenced the Journey design. The design reflects the present and future vision of this public space. The project was guided by the journey and voyage of many people who have settled in Acadiana, where their collective story continues to be celebrated in art, music, food, festivals and family gatherings to create a shared experience..
- The canopy has colored glass featuring the colors of the Acadian flag.
- The project was completed with the following milestones:
- On budget o Debt free o With minimal delay with COVID-19 and several active hurricane seasons
- The groundbreaking occurred on November 7, 2018.
- The “topping out,” signaling the building had progressed to a point where final iron beam for the structure is put in place, was held in October 2019.
- Partial substantial completion occurred on October 31, 2021.
The New LFT Terminal by the Numbers:
- 120,000 square feet, twice the size of the existing terminal.
- 966 parking spots, an increase of more than 200 parking spaces when compared to the existing terminal.
- Two (2) TSA security screening lines with the ability to add a third line.
- 194 security cameras throughout the terminal, covering all public areas.
- Five (5) departure and arrival gates – all with new jet bridges.
- Two (2) Mothers’ Rooms located in the terminal.
- A Service Animal Relief Area (SARA) located inside the terminal.
More Fast Facts and Features:
- A completely new system baggage handling system. After passengers check their bags at the ticket counter, baggage undergoes security screening in a secure, non-public location.
- The public address system is a state-of-the-art audio system.
- All lighting in the new terminal is LED.
- Visitors to the new terminal have access to food and drinks on both sides of the security checkpoint.
- The rotunda area (where the bar and restaurant are located), is equipped with dramatic Sage Glass, which tints automatically depending on the angle of the sun, providing an amazing view of the airfield.
- Rental cars are located adjacent to the terminal right outside the rental car agencies’ counters.
- The old terminal will be demolished for future expansion.