Market accessibility is a significant consideration when choosing a location to start or expand a business successfully. Having instant and reliable access to the surrounding world is paramount for reaching consumers, suppliers, and collaborators — and ultimately finding success. Connectivity through air, road, and rail travel drives regional growth on every level.
As an addition to its current connectivity infrastructure, Lafayette Parish celebrated the recent opening of a new state-of-the-art terminal at the Lafayette Regional Airport.
Fly Lafayette: the New Lafayette Terminal
This new development promises more opportunities for industry and a streamlined traveling experience — whether for business or pleasure.
The new terminal’s greater size allows for additional security equipment and personnel, which will make arrival and check-in time before boarding flights more efficient. It also features five operational gates to fully satisfy the needs of current carriers with room for two more gates as future demand grows.
The 120,000-square-foot building is about two times bigger than its predecessor. In an age of social distancing and COVID-19 regulations, more space means more breathing room and more peace of mind for travelers and employees alike. Visitors will have access to food and drink on both sides of the security checkpoint. The upgraded facilities also feature more room for parking with about 200 additional spaces and better access for rental cars.
January 20 marked the first day that flights began using the new terminal structure. The old terminal saw its last incoming flights shortly after the opening of the new building.
A Real Community Project
The success of this project is a success for the entire region. A substantial part of the funding, around $30 million, for the new terminal came from a temporary one-percent sales tax levied in Lafayette Parish. This tax was approved by the voters of the parish who believed in the meaningful and tangible benefits of improving the infrastructure.
Aside from the contributions by local government authorities, the project also received $59 million in funding from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The five-year project was completed under its total budget of around $150 million. Much of the work during development was also sourced to local companies, including dozens of disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE).
Innovations in Efficiency and Technology
The terminal facility features several innovative upgrades that will improve overall safety and user experience. The new inline bag system, like those found at larger airports, includes modern screening equipment that examines all bags in a private, secure location.
The building incorporates a new HVAC system and LED lighting that should reduce total environmental impact. Windows are made from engineered glass that cuts down on glare and helps create a more natural lightning ambience throughout the entire terminal.
Coming to Cajun Country
More efficient and reliable air travel means it’s easier to connect in South Louisiana.
Strategically located at the crossroads of I-10 and I-49, South Louisiana infrastructure offers two Class 1 rail lines, seven coastal ports and two commercial airports. This interconnectivity provides companies with optimal access to shipping and transportation routes, reaching 38 interior states via the Mississippi River and international destinations via the Gulf of Mexico.
The success of the new Lafayette Regional Airport terminal shows that both local authorities and the community in South Louisiana are committed to the region’s growth, improvement and prosperity.
Learn more about South Louisiana’s diverse infrastructure here.