With a drawn-out effort to privatize Louis Armstrong International Airport officially dead and the last aviation director headed to jail, the new man at the helm says it’s full-speed ahead with a major modernization project that should be complete when the city hosts the 2013 Super Bowl.

New Aviation Director Iftikhar Ahmad has scaled back the sweeping $755 million modernization plan announced in late 2009, six months before his arrival, and replaced it with a $200 million effort that he expects to be done in plenty of time for New Orleans to host Super Bowl XLVII in two years.

The revised project involves shutting down Concourses A and B to the general public and using only Concourses C and D, the airport’s newer departure wings, for all commercial travel. Ahmad says less will be more when Concourse A, which is already closed, becomes the home base for airport operations offices; the doors to Concourse B are closed to all except select charter flights; and the airport’s tiled shopping area is converted into a single, consolidated security checkpoint with up to 11 screening units.

Instead of the current setup, in which travelers must queue up to use four Transportation Security Administration checkpoint units at Concourses B, C or D, the new system will allow passengers to pass through security where the Acme Oyster House is now and have plenty of shopping and concessions options available before heading to Concourse C and D gates on the other side.

“This is a convention city,” Ahmad said. “So, let’s say convention A is going on, and Southwest has (a sale on) tickets. All of them are going to show up in Concourse B at the same time. Then, later if we have Convention B and Delta is having a fare special, (the crush) will be at Concourse D. This way, instead of four lanes there, three there and three there, we’ll put 11 lanes all in one place. They may not have to be staffed all at one time, but then when there’s a push, we can have full staffing and that’s a big selling point for conventions.”