New Orleans Lakefront tower reopened July 30 for the first time since Hurricane Katrina shut down its operations in 2005.
Even without the tower, the airport was handling 160 operations a day, said airport manager R. W. Taylor. With the tower again operational, traffic is expected to climb rapidly, largely from business operators, he said.
Three controllers and one supervisor will staff the tower initially, according to FAA sources. The tower will operate daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on 119.9. Clearance delivery is combined with ground control on 121.7 and remote clearance on 127.4, said Taylor, who advised checking NOTAMs for updates.
Service at the airport will be somewhat limited, at first. Controllers will be utilizing radios and cell phones until radar coverage and landline telephone services are restored early next year, said C.W. Baker, president of the local National Air Traffic Controllers Association.
“Like everything else in the New Orleans area, Hurricane Katrina changed our airport forever, but we’re ready to serve you,” Taylor commented.
Lakefront is closer to downtown than the region’s main Louis Armstrong International Airport and is popular with GA pilots and business flyers.
A new tower opened at Stennis International Airport, near Biloxi, Mississippi, the same week. Corporate and private planes have been the primary users of Stennis for more than 30 years but, with the control tower, the airport should be able to attract larger military and commercial cargo planes, said airport director Bill Cotter.