LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) The Lafayette Regional Airport will be open to the public on Thursday.

On Wednesday, a ribbon cutting ceremony ushered in a new season.

The Executive Director of the Lafayette Regional Airport, Steven Picou explains the new terminal will go “Live” on Thursday.

Wednesday’s ceremony was attended by state, local and federal leaders.

Governor John Bel Edwards called the new project another jewel within the system of airports.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Deputy Associate Administrator, Winsome Lenfert, commented about how tax dollars were used to help pay for the project.

“This is really truly amazing to have a community to come together to support an infrastructure project like this. Having the community coming forward with that much funding really setup the commitment. It was much easier for the Federal Aviation Administration to engage to provide the $59 million that we provided for this project,” Lenfert said.

Before touring the 120,000 square foot facility, which is said to be twice the size of the old terminal, the governor reminded people the project was no small undertaking.

“I just want to say on behalf of myself and on behalf of the state, everybody who was involved thank you. Thank you not just for the work that you did, but the impact its going to have but for the example you have set for local communities all over the State of Louisiana.  It’s truly a testament to what could be accomplished when we work together,” Edwards said.

According to Picou, the terminal project totaled $155 million.

“We have a beautiful new terminal and it was a lot of community support, support at every level: federal government support, state support,  local support and tax payer support at every level.  

It’s a great day,” Senator Page Cortez (R-District 23) added.

Funding resources included state, federal and local dollars.

“When you live in a community you want to see progress, you want to see growth, you want to see development, and you want to be able to touch tangible things.  This one falls in that category,” Senator Gerald Boudreaux (D-District 24) explained.

President & CEO of the Lafayette Economic Development Authority, Mandi Mitchell calls the new terminal a game changer.

President & CEO of the Lafayette Economic Development Authority says “What a wonderful investment.  This $150 million dollar investment and 120,000 square feet of new square footage within this airport terminal will be a game changer for Lafayette from a quality of life standpoint and from an economic development standpoint.”

“Obviously the airport is the first impression that business travelers get and people who are on vacation, leisure travelers, that they get of the community is the airport.  This is a first class airport befitting a first class community,” Lafayette City Council Vice Chairman Glenn Lazard stated.

Picou says the total payroll for the airport is about $72 million and that’s for a reported 3500.