|Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
|IATA: MSY ICAO: KMSY FAA LID: MSY
|Owner||City of New Orleans|
|Serves||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Elevation AMSL||4 ft / 1 m|
|Source: Federal Aviation Administration|
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (IATA: MSY, ICAO: KMSY, FAA LID: MSY) is a Class B public use international airport in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, United States. It is owned by the city of New Orleans and is located 10 nautical miles (19 km) west of its central business district. The airport's address is 900 Airline Drive in Kenner, Louisiana. A small portion of Runway 10/28 is located in unincorporated St. Charles Parish. Armstrong International is the primary commercial airport for the New Orleans metropolitan area and southeast Louisiana. The airport was formerly known as Moisant Field, and it is also known as Louis Armstrong International Airport and New Orleans International Airport.
At an average of 4.5 feet (1.4 m) above sea level, MSY is the 2nd lowest-lying international airport in the world, behind only Amsterdam's Schiphol International Airport in the Netherlands, which lies eleven feet below sea level. Prior to Hurricane Katrina, MSY served 9.7 million passengers per year, nearly all of them non-connecting. In 2012, it served 8,600,989 passengers, an increase of 0.6%over 2011.
In February 2008, U.S. News & World Report ranked the travel experience at MSY 4th of the 47 busiest United States airports based upon the relatively small number of flight delays and frequently lower onboard flight loads.
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport was once a major gateway for Latin American travel from the United States. That travel now mostly goes through other cities which serve as hubs for international legacy airlines.
MSY opened after World War II, replacing the older New Orleans Lakefront Airport (which kept the NEW and KNEW airport codes and now serves general aviation) as the city's main airport. MSY was renamed in 2001 after Louis Armstrong, a famous jazz musician from New Orleans. The National Weather Service forecast office for the area was once located at MSY, but has moved to the suburb of Slidell, and now uses the non-airport codes LIX and KLIX.
The airport was originally named after daredevil aviator John Moisant, who died in 1910 in an airplane crash on this land (which was devoted to farming at the time). Its IATA code MSY was derived from Moisant Stock Yards, as Lakefront Airport retained the "NEW" code.
Plans for Moisant Field were begun in 1940, as evidence mounted that New Orleans' older Shushan Airport (New Orleans Lakefront Airport) was in need of expansion or replacement. With the advent of World War II the land became a government air base. It was returned to civilian control after the war, and commercial service began at Moisant Field in May 1946.
On September 19, 1947, the airport was temporarily shut down as it was submerged under two feet of water in the wake of the 1947 Hurricane's impact.
Starting in 1946, and for the next thirteen years, passengers arrived and departed from a large, hangar-like makeshift structure, until a new main terminal complex, designed by Goldstein Parham & Labouisse and Herbert A. Benson, George J. Riehl and built by J. A. Jones Company, debuted in 1959 towards the end of Mayor DeLesseps "Chep" Morrison's administration. The core of this structure forms much of the present-day facility.
The Official Airline Guide for April 1957 shows 26 weekday departures on Delta, 25 Eastern, 11 National, 5 Capital, 4 Southern and 3 Braniff. Pan Am had six departures a week and TACA had four.
During the administration of Morrison's successor, Vic Schiro, the government sponsored studies of the feasibility of relocating Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport to a new site, contemporaneous with similar efforts that were ultimately successful in Houston (George Bush Intercontinental Airport) and Dallas (Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport). This attempt got as far as recommending a site in New Orleans East; a man-made island was to be created south of I-10 and north of U.S. Route 90 in a bay of Lake Pontchartrain. In the early 1970s it was decided that the current airport should be expanded instead, leading to the construction of a lengthened main terminal ticketing area, an airport access road linking the terminal to I-10, and the present-day Concourses A and B. New Orleans Mayor Sidney Barthelemy, in office from 1986 to 1994, later reintroduced the idea of building a new international airport for the city, with consideration given to other sites in New Orleans East, as well as on the Northshore in suburban St. Tammany Parish. Only a couple months before Hurricane Katrina's landfall, Mayor Ray Nagin again proposed a new airport for New Orleans, this time to the west in Montz, Louisiana. These initiatives met with the same fate as 1960s-era efforts in new airport building for New Orleans.
Historically, Eastern Air Lines provided extensive service from MSY, including Boeing 727 Whisperjet service to Dallas, Tampa, and Miami, as well as to New York City and Atlanta. Using 727s, Douglas DC-8s, and DC-10s, National Airlines at different times served Miami, Amsterdam, Tampa, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. Through 1979, Southern Airways Douglas DC-9s frequented Armstrong International, a busy stop on its regional short-haul network. Delta Air Lines was another leading carrier at MSY, and for years carried more passengers out of New Orleans than any other airline. Its nonstop jet service to New York, Chicago and Los Angeles from New Orleans was advertised for decades on a prominent billboard on Canal Street downtown. Southwest Airlines now carries the most passengers in and out of New Orleans.
MSY was also the hub for short-lived Pride Air, an airline which operated Boeing 727s for three months in 1985.
Retired United States Air Force Major-General Junius Wallace Jones served as airport director in the 1950s. During his term, the airport received many improvements.
The city chose Iftikhar Ahmad to be the director of aviation. Ahmad was approved for employment at MSY in April 2010. He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University with a Masters of Science in Civil Engineering. Ahmad left his director of aviation post at Dayton International Airport where he had been since 2006 to work for MSY. Prior to Dayton, Ahmad had worked in airport management for the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority and the Houston Airport System, which oversees both Houston Bush Intercontinental and Houston Hobby airports.
Eastern Air Lines Flight 304 was a Douglas DC-8 flying from New Orleans International Airport to Washington Dulles International Airport that crashed on February 25, 1964 nine minutes after takeoff. All 51 passengers and 7 crew were killed.
On March 20, 1969, Douglas DC-3 N142D, leased from Avion Airways for a private charter, crashed on landing, killing 16 of the 27 passengers and crew on board. The aircraft was operating a domestic non-scheduled passenger flight from Memphis International Airport, Tennessee.
On July 9, 1982, Pan Am Flight 759, en route from Miami to Las Vegas, departed New Orleans International. The Boeing 727-200 plane took off from the east-west runway (Runway 10/28) traveling east but never gained an altitude higher than 150 feet (46 m). The plane traveled 4,610 feet (1405 m) beyond the end of Runway 10, hitting trees along the way, until crashing into a residential neighborhood. A total of 153 people were killed (all 145 on board and 8 on the ground). The crash was, at the time, the second-deadliest civil aviation disaster in U.S. history. The National Transportation Safety Board determined the probable cause was the aircraft's encounter with a microburst-induced wind shear during the liftoff. This atmospheric condition created a downdraft and decreasing headwind forcing the plane downward. Modern wind shear detection equipment protecting flights from such conditions is now in place both onboard planes and at most commercial airports, including Armstrong International.
The airport was closed to commercial air traffic on August 28, 2005, shortly before Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, and it remained closed as floods affected the city. The Associated Press reported on August 31 that MSY would receive humanitarian flights, and that the airport "has no significant airfield damage and had no standing water in aircraft movement areas", although the airport did, as the article put it, "[sustain] damage to its roofs, hangars and fencing." In early September, the airport opened only to military aircraft and humanitarian flights, and served as a staging center for evacuees. The airport reopened to commercial flights on September 13, 2005.
At about 2:30 EST in the morning on February 2, 2006, a tornado touched down on the grounds of MSY. The damage from the tornado was significant but primarily confined to Concourse C, where American, United, AirTran Airways, and international arrivals were based. Many temporary repairs dating from Hurricane Katrina failed, including one roof patch, forcing airlines based in the concourse to relocate operations to vacant gates. Jetways and other ground equipment also sustained damage. The damage was rated by the National Weather Service and the tornado was rated F1. As of late 2006, all of this had been repaired.
MSY reopened to commercial flights on September 13, 2005, with four flights operated by Delta Air Lines to Atlanta and a Northwest Airlines flight to Memphis. Slowly, service from other carriers began to resume, with limited service offered by Southwest Airlines, Continental Airlines, and American Airlines.
Eventually, all carriers announced their return to MSY, with the exception of America West Airlines (which merged into US Airways two weeks later) and international carrier TACA. In early 2006, Continental Airlines became the first airline to return to pre-Katrina flight frequency levels, and in September 2006, to pre-Katrina seat capacity levels.
MSY served 8,153,511 passengers in 2010, or 83.8% of the pre-Katrina high of 9,733,179 passengers in 2004, as well as the all-time high of 9.9 million passengers who used the airfield in 2000.
In May 2010, AirTran announced new daily nonstop service to its hub in Milwaukee utilizing Boeing 717 aircraft and beginning on October 7, 2010. This route marked MSY's first all-new city addition since 1998.
In November 2010, United announced resumption of daily nonstop service to San Francisco, the largest pre-Katrina domestic market that had yet to resume service to New Orleans.
On July 16, 2012, Spirit Airlines announced nonstop service from Dallas-Fort Worth to New Orleans, commencing in January 2013. Spirit became the first all-new domestic carrier, and second all-new carrier overall (after WestJet) to announce service to MSY, since 1998.
On November 21, 2006, the New Orleans Aviation Board approved an air service initiative to promote increased service to Armstrong International:
On January 17, 2008, the city's aviation board voted on an amended incentive program which waives landing fees for the first two airlines to fly nonstop into a city not presently served from the airport. Under the new ruling, landing fees will be waived for up to two airlines flying into an "underserved destination airport." The incentive previously referred to service to a "new destination airport."
The airport is also continuing its incentive to airlines that reach 85% of their pre-Katrina flight frequencies.
In November 2006, the airport opened a "cell phone lot" at the corner of Airline Drive and Hollandey Street across from the Airport Access Road to allow people picking up arriving passengers to wait until an arriving passenger calls to say they are ready for pickup.
Also, on December 6, 2006, Armstrong International launched an $8 million maintenance campaign to clean and improve the terminal environment. Dubbed Music To Your Eyes, the campaign is designed to transform the airport into a more visitor-friendly facility, with improvements to lighting, cleanliness, seating, baggage claim maintenance, curbside congestion, and designated smoking areas.
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport covers an area of 1,500 acres (610 ha) at an elevation of 4 feet (1 m) above mean sea level. It has three runways: 10/28 is 10,104 by 150 feet (3,080 x 46 m) with a concrete surface; 1/19 is 7,001 by 150 feet (2,134 x 46 m) with a concrete surface; 6/24 is 3,570 by 150 feet (1,088 x 46 m) with an asphalt surface.
For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2007, the airport had 129,228 aircraft operations, an average of 354 per day: 58% scheduled commercial, 21% general aviation and 19% air taxi and 1% military. At that time there were 19 aircraft based at this airport: 21% single-engine, 21% multi-engine, 42% jet and 16% helicopter.
Armstrong International's Concourse C, located in the airport's West Terminal, contains a fully enclosed US Customs, Immigration, and FIS facility. The majority of the concourse's 15 gates offer direct access to this area and are thus capable of accepting foreign arrivals from all over the world, on aircraft as large as Boeing 747-400s.
By the end of 1946 Pan Am DC-4s flew MSY to Mérida, and Chicago and Southern (merged with Delta in 1953) DC-4s flew to Havana; in 1949 C&S DC-4s started MSY to Caracas via Jamaica. Delta's DC-7s from MSY to Havana and on to Haiti and the Dominican Republic lasted until the Cuban Revolution; flights from MSY to Jamaica and Venezuela, including Maracaibo and Caracas, and to San Juan, Puerto Rico, were discontinued between the mid-1970s and 1980.
Before Hurricane Katrina (2005) Air Canada scheduled flights to Toronto and Grupo TACA to San Pedro Sula in Honduras. MSY has had flights to nearly thirty nonstop international destinations. Around 1982 a British Airways L1011 between London and Mexico City was scheduled to stop in New Orleans for passengers and fuel. National Airlines flew a weekly DC-10 nonstop to Amsterdam from MSY for a month or two starting in July 1978. In the 1980s Eastern Air Lines had a nonstop to Panama City, Panama.
Continental Airlines had flights to Mexico City and Cancun in the 1980s, as did AeroMexico. TWA offered Mexico City service with McDonnell Douglas MD-80 equipment in the 1990s and into the early 2000s (decade).
VIASA served New Orleans in the 1960s with Convair 880 jets to Venezuela.
During the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, Aviateca, LACSA, TAN/SAHSA and TACA provided nonstop and same-plane direct services to several Central American destinations, including Belize City, Guatemala City, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa, La Ceiba, Roatan, San Salvador, Mérida, Cancun, and San Jose. TACA was even headquartered in New Orleans before returning its headquarters to Central America in 1982. The networks of the aforementioned defunct Central American carriers have been absorbed into that of Grupo TACA.
Twice weekly seasonal New Orleans-to-Montego Bay nonstops via the Jamaica Shuttle/Casino Express (typically chartered Boeing 727-200's or 737-300's) operated during most of the 1990s and into the 2000s (decade).
Laker Airways operated twice weekly seasonal B727-200 flights between New Orleans and Freeport, The Bahamas, in the early 2000s.
Vacation Express operated twice weekly seasonal charters between New Orleans and Cancun for several years using B727-200, B737-200, B737-300, and MD-80 equipment. This service was suspended after the company decided to concentrate on selling seats on scheduled flights.
All international service into MSY was suspended while the FIS facility was closed post-Katrina. The facility reopened to an influx of chartered flights arriving from London, Manchester, Bournemouth, and Nottingham, UKall carrying tourists in for Mardi Gras and set to depart aboard a cruise liner.
On April 7, 2009, it was announced that AeroMexico would begin 6-times weekly nonstop flights between New Orleans and Mexico City on July 6, 2009, with the service operated by Aerolitoral dba AeroMexico Connect. AeroMexico made several changes to its US network in the spring of 2010, and MSY-MEX service was reduced to an intermittent 2-3 times weekly frequency in March of that year. Aeromexico removed the route from their reservation system in June 2010, and the last flight operated on July 26, 2010.
On July 14, 2010, Air Canada announced the resumption of daily nonstop service between Toronto and New Orleans, utilizing Bombardier CRJ-705 equipment (operated by Air Canada Express) with two classes of service. This route started on October 30, 2010.
On March 8, 2011, MSY was one of eight cities given approval for charter flights to Cuba. Flights to Cuba have been scheduled on a very limited basis, with the first departure on March 26, 2012, operated by Sky King, Inc., charters and marketed by Cuba Travel USA.
Louis Armstrong International has two terminals, East and West, connected by a central ticketing alley. Attached are four concourses, A, B, C, and D.
Concourse A opened in 1975 and has 6 Gates: A1, A3, A5, A6, A7, A8. This concourse is currently closed to airline traffic. However, the concourse's fate is under review as traffic growth has exceeded expectations and the concourse may be reopened.
Concourse B opened in 1975 and has 11 Gates: B1, B2, B4, B5, B7-B12, B15. US Airways (Gates B10, B12, B15), AirTran Airways (Gate B2), and Southwest Airlines (Gates B2, B4, B5, B7, B8, B9, B11) operate out of this concourse. Gate B1 space has been taken over by TSA for passenger screening, and the gate is no longer in use.
Except customs pre-cleared flights, all nonstop international arrivals are handled by Concourse C. This concourse also contains both common-use and overflow gates, available for infrequent services and charter flights as well. It was also remodeled in 2007 after the damage of the February 2006 tornado, which was designed by Manning Architects.
Concourse C opened in 1991 and has 15 Gates: C1 - C12, C14 - C16. JetBlue Airways (Gate C2), Frontier Airlines (Gate C9), Spirit Airlines (Gate C6), Delta Airlines (Gates C11, C15, C16), American Airlines (Gates C8, C10, C12) all operate out of this concourse. Gates C1, C3, C4, C5, and C7 are currently common-use and overflow gates used during busy periods and for charter flights. C11 is also utilized by larger international arrival aircraft, due to offering the largest available apron space, and direct access to the concourse's customs/immigration area.
The newest concourse, D, opened in 1997 and houses a Delta Air Lines Sky Club, the sole such airline club remaining at Armstrong. A six-gate rotunda, designed by Sizeler Thompson Brown, has been built on the end of the concourse.
Concourse D has 12 operating Gates: D1 - D12. Delta Air Lines (Gates D2, D4, D6, D8, D10, D12), United Airlines (Gates D1, D3, D5, D7, D9, D11), and Air Canada Express (Gate D7) operate out of this concourse.
Bus service between the airport and downtown New Orleans is provided by Jefferson Transit bus E-2. The airport also features taxicab services furnished by third-party operators that have fixed price schedules ($33 for first two passengers, $14 for each additional passenger) for rides to the city's Central Business District. All cabs serving the airport are required to accept credit cards for all services rendered.
|Air Canada Express operated by Jazz Air||Toronto-Pearson||D7|
|AirTran Airways operated by Southwest Airlines||Atlanta, Milwaukee, Orlando||B2|
|American Airlines||Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami||C8, C10, C12|
|American Eagle||Chicago-O'Hare (ends August 1, 2013)||C8, C10, C12|
|American Eagle operated by Republic Airlines||Chicago-O'Hare (begins August 1, 2013)||C8, C10, C12|
|Delta Air Lines||Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Memphis, New York-JFK (ends June 9, 2013), New York-LaGuardia, Salt Lake City
Seasonal: Minneapolis/St. Paul
|D2, D4, D6, D8, D10, D12|
|Delta Connection operated by Chautauqua Airlines||Memphis||D2, D4, D6, D8, D10, D12|
|Delta Connection operated by Compass Airlines||Minneapolis/St. Paul||D2, D4, D6, D8, D10, D12|
|Delta Connection operated by ExpressJet||Memphis||C11, C15, C16/D2, D4, D6, D8, D10, D12|
|Delta Connection operated by Pinnacle Airlines||Cincinnati, Memphis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-JFK (resumes June 10, 2013)||C11, C15, C16/D2, D4, D6, D8, D10, D12|
|Delta Connection operated by SkyWest Airlines||Salt Lake City||D2, D4, D6, D8, D10, D12|
|Frontier Airlines||Denver, Trenton (NJ)||C9|
|JetBlue Airways||Boston, New York-JFK||C2|
|Southwest Airlines||Austin (begins November 3, 2013), Baltimore, Birmingham (AL) (ends June 2, 2013), Chicago-Midway, Dallas-Love, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Houston-Hobby, Kansas City, Key West, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Nashville, Newark, Orlando, Phoenix, St. Louis, Tampa||B2, B4, B5, B7, B8, B9, B11|
|Spirit Airlines||Dallas/Fort Worth||C6|
|United Airlines||Chicago-O'Hare, Denver, Houston-Intercontinental, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, Washington-Dulles||D1, D3, D5, D7, D9, D11|
|United Express operated by ExpressJet Airlines||Chicago-O'Hare, Cleveland, Houston-Intercontinental, Newark||D1, D3, D5, D7, D9, D11|
|United Express operated by GoJet Airlines||Chicago-O'Hare, Denver, Newark, Washington-Dulles||D1, D3, D5, D7, D9, D11|
|United Express operated by Shuttle America||Chicago-O'Hare, Newark, Washington-Dulles||D1, D3, D5, D7, D9, D11|
|United Express operated by SkyWest Airlines||Chicago-O'Hare, Denver, Houston-Intercontinental, Washington-Dulles||D1, D3, D5, D7, D9, D11|
|US Airways||Charlotte, Philadelphia, Washington-National||B10, B12, B15|
|US Airways Express operated by Republic Airlines||Charlotte, Washington-National||B10, B12, B15|
|Vacation Express operated by Aeromexico||Seasonal: Cancun (begins May 26, 2013)||C|
|1||Atlanta, GA||663,000||AirTran, Delta|
|2||Houston, TX (Bush)||399,000||United|
|3||Houston, TX (Hobby)||294,000||Southwest|
|4||Dallas, TX (DFW)||237,000||American, Spirit|
|5||Charlotte, NC||215,000||US Airways|
|6||Denver, CO||201,000||Frontier, Southwest, United|
|7||Dallas, TX (Love)||199,000||Southwest|
|8||Los Angeles, CA||151,000||Delta, Southwest, United|
|9||Chicago, IL (O'Hare)||128,000||American, United|
Armstrong International Airport has processed a record number of passengers through its facility. On Monday, February 4, there were 40,561 processed through the airport, the highest number of passengers in its 67-year history. With the record crowd, there were no significant issues reported with crowds passing through security in less than an hour at peak times. In preparation for Mondays massive crowd, the airport in conjunction with the TSA doubled the number of passenger screening lanes to meet the outbound demand of Super Bowl Travelers and added additional baggage screening equipment. In addition, TSA checkpoints remained open around the clock from Sunday morning until after the last flight departed on Monday. Concessions remained open with certain locations remaining open all night to meet every travelers needs.
"We anticipated that we would have record crowds in the airport and took the necessary steps in advance to adequately accommodate all of our passengers, says Aviation Director Iftikhar Ahmad. "This is true example of the great staff and personnel that we have here at Armstrong International Airport. Each member of staff from accountants to engineers to maintenance employees were on the floor working together to ensure that everything went off without any problems, and I am very proud of our entire team.
|Concourse||Longest Wait Time||Average Wait Time|
|A (4 lanes)||13 Minutes||2 Minutes|
|B (5 lanes)||12 Minutes||3 Minutes|
|C (4 lanes)||7 Minutes||1 Minute|
|D (5 lanes)||50 Minutes||7 Minutes|
|Delta Expansion (2 lanes)||20 Minutes||2 Minutes|
|FIS/Customs (5 lanes)||8 Minutes||1 Minute|
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