Construction Underway For The New Lafayette Regional Airport Terminal
Nov 28, 2018 12:31PM
● By Flint Zerangue, Sr.
After years of planning and preparation, construction of the new 120,000 square-feet terminal and facility for the Lafayette Regional Airport (LFT) is underway.
In early November, community leaders, legislators, and members of the Lafayette Airport Commission gathered for a ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony signifying a new ara for flight in Acadiana.
When complete, the new $80 million terminal will replace the existing terminal, which opened in 1930, and will double the size of the current facility.
Funding for the project was the result of a special (temporary) sales tax that Lafayette voters approved in 2014, which generated some $32 million. The additional funding needed to complete the project came from various state and federal sources.
Valerie Garrett and Governor John
U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy addressed the audience saying the City of Lafayette and the people of Lafayette, stepped forward, embracing a vision of Lafayette as a major city—you cannot be a major city without a major airport.
According to LFT Executive Director Steven Picou, “Terminal construction is estimated to be complete in approximately 24 months.”
Gov. John Bel Edwards stated, “…the infrastructure has to grow as the number of travelers flying Lafayette grows. And I know if the state's going to continue to grow as we are right now, develop opportunity, make sure that we have economic development, investment, job creation—we are going to have to make sure we tend to our transportation/infrastructure needs, and this community is setting a fine example.”
An airport usually is a visitor's first impression of a city, approximately 400,000 annual visitors go through Lafayette Regional. That's 400,000 first impressions, which can impact tourism, states Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission President, Ben Berthelot.
"The ports of our state, airports and maritime, are heartbeats of economic growth," U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins said. "And before we know it, Lafayette will have the first-class air facility needed to facilitate the future of economic development Acadiana can depend upon."
When complete, the new terminal and compound improvements will include a new terminal building and concourse, in addition to new and improved concessions, parking, security, rental car facilities, terminal roadways, and more. Construction on the terminal is expected to last approximately two years, with the complete project being finished in 2021.