The New Orleans City Council on Thursday authorized the sale of bonds for infrastructure improvements related to the new terminal being built at Louis Armstrong International Airport.
The vote was a perfunctory step, but it clears the way for vital components of the $650 million plan.
The council’s resolution gives the New Orleans Aviation Board, which operates the airport, permission to sell as much as $700 million worth of bonds and take out a line of credit of up to $75 million.
Proceeds from the bonds and the loan will be used to build a 2,000-space parking garage, aircraft parking areas and taxiways and other improvements related to the new terminal.
Councilman Jared Brossett, who heads the council’s Transportation Committee, called the bonds “critical to the continued progress and eventual completion” of the airport.”
“We are confident that these funds will contribute to the development of an efficient, accessible and pleasant airport experience for locals and visitors alike,” Brossett said in a statement after the council voted 6-0 to approve the resolution. Councilman James Gray was absent.
The bonds will be repaid using revenue generated by the airport.
The planned 650,000-square-foot terminal will replace the existing airport facility. It is scheduled to open in 2018, in time for the city’s tricentennial celebration.
Hunt Gibbs Boh Metro, a joint venture that includes several big local firms, is overseeing construction.
Various other revenue sources will be tapped for the project, including grants from the Federal Aviation Administration, the Transportation Security Administration and the Louisiana State Aviation Trust Fund.