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FAA Opens Runway in New Orleans

August 31, 2005

FAA Opens Runway in New Orleans
August 31, 2005 – According to a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, officials opened one runway at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in La. on Tuesday to emergency flights for Katrina relief.

"Runway 19 opened for emergency services at about 1:10 p.m. Central,"Roland Herwig, an FAA spokesman for the southwest region said.

Herwig added that the emergency flights will operate only during daylight. According to CNN, all airports in the New Orleans area were closed to commercial service Tuesday and also may be closed Wednesday. The FAA site is reporting that the airport is expected to reopen Wednesday at 7 a.m. CDT.

Katrina also has shut down Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport in Miss. FAA officials are in the process of assessing damage to control towers, communications facilities and navigational aides throughout the region affected by the storm.

Temporary flight restrictions over New Orleans and the Ala. and Miss. coastlines are in effect, allowing only air traffic related to rescue and relief operations. Those restrictions are in effect until further notice.

Airline industry analyst Michael Boyd expects air travel outside of the most devastated areas to get back to normal within about 24 hours. He does not expect the storm to have much of an impact on Labor Day travel.

"I don’t think this will affect weekend travel except that which was focused on the Gulf Coast," he said.

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