New Orleans Lakefront Airport
(former New Orleans Army Air Base)
Lakefront Airport, main terminal, 2010
|IATA: NEW – ICAO: KNEW – FAA LID: NEW|
|Owner||Orleans Levee District|
|Serves||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Elevation AMSL||7 ft / 2 m|
Lakefront Airport (IATA: NEW, ICAO: KNEW, FAA LID: NEW) is a public use airport located four nautical miles (5 mi, 7 km) northeast of the central business district of New Orleans, in Orleans Parish, Louisiana, United States. Owned by the Orleans Levee District, it is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a general aviation reliever airport.
Originally the major commercial airport in the New Orleans area, Lakefront Airport relinquished that role in 1946 when commercial airline service began from Moisant International Airport (now known as Louis Armstrong International Airport), a significantly larger facility located in the nearby suburb of Kenner. Lakefront Airport continues to serve as a general aviation airport with charter, private, and occasional military operations taking place. Commercial airline service is also available to destinations within the Gulf South Region. The terminal building's interior retains much of its original lavish 1930s decoration, and the art deco exterior, obscured for decades by a "bomb-proof" facade installed after World War II, has recently been returned to its original appearance. The terminal building housed a restaurant frequented by nearby residents, the Walnut Room, but this has yet to reopen, post-Katrina. The sculpture installation in front of the terminal, "Fountain of the Winds" by Enrique Alferez, is a local landmark.
Lakefront Airport was damaged by hurricane-force winds and the storm surge of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and a number of the hangars and outlying buildings were destroyed. While the airport soon resumed functioning, restoration of the terminal building and other facilities proceeds slowly. With the exterior of the main terminal fully restored however, the classic Art Deco building was used as the headquarters of the fictional company Ferris Aircraft in the 2011 action hero film Green Lantern starring Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively
The airport was constructed in the mid-1930s by Huey Long on a man-made peninsula dredged by the Orleans Levee Board, jutting into Lake Pontchartrain on the Eastern New Orleans side of the Industrial Canal. It was originally named Shushan Airport after Levee Board president Abraham Shushan. The airport was inaugurated on 10 February 1934. Visitors noticed that every doorknob, window sill, countertop, and plumbing fixture either had the name or the initials of Abe Shushan. The airport was soon thereafter renamed New Orleans Airport, and was assigned the airport code "NEW", which it retains despite its current name.
Lakefront Airport was badly damaged by storm surge during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and again during Hurricane Isaac in 2012. While the airport was quickly brought back to service, many facilities remained in temporary trailers for years after Katrina.
On January 23, 2010 a United States Navy Beechcraft T-34 Mentor training aircraft crashed into Lake Ponchartrain just over one mile from the approach end of the airport. The aircraft was intending to land at Naval Air Station-Joint Reserve Base New Orleans but diverted to Lakefront Airport due to weather. The student pilot on board survived, however, the instructor drowned. According to official reports, the aircrew lost track of their altitude which resulted in their ditching in the lake.
Post-Katrina reconstruction at the airport has included restoration of the main terminal building's original Art Deco facade. The Art Deco interior and restoration of the Shushan terminal is being filmed for a television documentary titled, Return Flight. Filming began in 2012 and will conclude in 2013 when the restoration draws to a close.
Facilities and aircraft
Lakefront Airport covers an area of 473 acres (191 ha) at an elevation of 7 feet (2 m) above mean sea level. It has three asphalt paved runways: 18R/36L is 6,879 by 150 feet (2,097 x 46 m); 18L/36R is 3,697 by 75 feet (1,127 x 23 m); 9/27 is 3,114 by 75 feet (949 x 23 m).
For the 12-month period ending January 31, 2012, the airport had 67,369 aircraft operations, an average of 184 per day: 90% general aviation, 6% military, and 4% air taxi. At that time there were 112 aircraft based at this airport: 69% single-engine, 20% multi-engine, 8% jet, and 3% helicopter.
Airlines and destinations
Airline offering scheduled passenger service to non-stop destinations:
|Southern Airways Express||Charter: Destin, Gulf Shores, Memphis (begins May 26, 2015), Oxford, Panama City Beach |
- FAA Airport Master Record for NEW ( PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective November 15, 2012.
- "IATA Airport Code Search (NEW: Lakefront)". International Air Transport Association. Retrieved August 13, 2013.
- "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010.
- Brinkley, Alan "Voices of Protest" (Random House, 1882)30
- "Story of the former name Shushan Airport". April 5, 2005. Archived from the original on April 18, 2005.
- "Route Map: Summer 2013". Southern Airways Express. Retrieved August 13, 2013.
- "Timetable". Southern Airways Express. Retrieved August 13, 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to New Orleans Lakefront Airport.|
- New Orleans Lakefront Airport, official site
- Fixed base operators (FBOs): Flightline First, Hawthorne, Landmark Aviation
- Aerial image as of December 2002 from USGS The National Map
- (PDF), effective April 30, 2015
- FAA Terminal Procedures for NEW, effective April 30, 2015
- Resources for this airport: