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Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport

Coordinates: 29°59′36″N 090°15′29″W / 29.99333°N 90.25806°W / 29.99333; -90.25806
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Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
Moisant Field
2006 USGS orthophoto, prior to the construction of the current terminal
Airport typePublic
Owner/OperatorNew Orleans Aviation Board
ServesNew Orleans metropolitan area
LocationKenner, Louisiana, United States
Operating base forBreeze Airways
Elevation AMSL4 ft / 1 m
Coordinates29°59′36″N 090°15′29″W / 29.99333°N 90.25806°W / 29.99333; -90.25806
FAA airport diagram
FAA airport diagram
Direction Length Surface
ft m
11/29 10,104 3,080 Asphalt/concrete
02/20 7,001 2,134 Concrete
Statistics (2023)
Aircraft operations110,490
Based aircraft (2022)24
Total passengers12,738,847
Source: MSY[1] and FAA[2]

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (IATA: MSY, ICAO: KMSY, FAA LID: MSY) is an international airport under Class B airspace in Kenner city, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, United States. It is owned by the city of New Orleans and is 11 miles (18 km) west of downtown New Orleans.[3] A small portion of Runway 11/29 is in unincorporated St. Charles Parish. Armstrong International is the primary commercial airport for the New Orleans metropolitan area and southeast Louisiana.

MSY covers 1,500 acres (607 ha) of land.[3][4] At an average of 4.5 feet (1.4 m) above sea level, MSY is the third lowest-lying international airport in the world, only behind Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in the Netherlands, which is 11 feet (3.4 m) below sea level, and Atyrau International Airport in Kazakhstan, which lies 72 feet (22 m) below sea level.


The airport in the 1960s


Plans for a new airport began in 1940, as evidence mounted that the older Shushan Airport (New Orleans Lakefront Airport) was too small.

The airport was originally named Moisant Field after daredevil aviator John Moisant, who died in 1910 in an airplane crash on agricultural land where the airport is now located. Its IATA code MSY was derived from Moisant Stock Yards, as Lakefront Airport retained the code NEW.[5] In World War II the land became a government air base. It returned to civil control after the war and commercial service began at Moisant Field in May 1946. In September 1947, the airport was shut down as it was submerged under two feet of water in the wake of the 1947 Fort Lauderdale Hurricane's impact.

When commercial service began at Moisant Field in 1946, the terminal was a large, makeshift hangar-like building—a sharp contrast to airports in then-peer cities. A new terminal complex debuted in 1959 towards the end of Mayor DeLesseps "Chep" Morrison's administration.[6] The core of this structure formed much of the facility used until November 2019. It is situated on the south side of the airfield. The terminal contained two sections, East and West, connected by a central ticketing alley. Four concourses, A, B, C and D, were attached to the terminal, and had a total of 47 gates. The vaulted arrivals lounge at the head of Concourse C and the adjacent, western half of the ticketing alley are the remaining portions of the airport's 1959 terminal complex.

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. By the time the previous airport terminal building opened in 1959, the name Moisant International Airport was being used for the New Orleans facility. In 1961, the name was changed to New Orleans International Airport.[7] In the early 1970s, the airport was expanded. A lengthened main terminal ticketing area, an airport access road linking the terminal to I-10, and Concourses A and B were constructed.

In July 1978, National Airlines began service to Frankfurt via Amsterdam aboard McDonnell Douglas DC-10s. This was New Orleans' first transatlantic flight.[8][9][10] Less than a month later, National added a stop in Tampa due to low demand.[11] In May 1981, British Airways inaugurated a flight from London's Gatwick Airport to Mexico City that stopped in New Orleans. It flew a Lockheed L-1011 TriStar on the route.[12][13][14] The airline discontinued the service in October 1982 because of financial problems.[15]

Northeastern International Airways operated a small hub at MSY in the spring of 1984.[16][17] Another airline that attempted to operate a hub at MSY was short-lived Pride Air which was based in New Orleans and was operating nonstop or direct Boeing 727 service from the airport to sixteen destinations including cities in California, Florida, and the western U.S. in the summer of 1985.[18]

In July 2001, to honor the 100th anniversary of Louis Armstrong's birth (August 4, 1901), the airport's name became Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.[19]

Post-Hurricane Katrina capacity restoration[edit]

Armstrong Airport, June 2007

MSY reopened to commercial flights on September 13, 2005, after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina the previous month, 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. All international service into MSY was suspended while the FIS facility was closed post-Katrina. The facility reopened to chartered flights arriving from London, Manchester, Bournemouth, and Nottingham, UK—all carrying tourists in for Mardi Gras and set to depart aboard a cruise liner.

MSY served 9,785,394 passengers in 2014, exceeding for the first time in the post-Katrina era the total passenger count of 9,733,179 achieved in 2004, the last full calendar year prior to Katrina's landfall in August 2005. A new record passenger count was set by the airport in 2015. 10,673,301 passengers were served, eclipsing the earlier record of 9.9 million passengers, set in 2000. In 2019 the airport served 13.1 million passengers.

In December 2015, the New Orleans Aviation Board, along with New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and City Council, approved a plan to build a new $598 million terminal building on the north side of the airport property with two concourses and 30 gates.[20] Designed by world-renowned Argentine-American architect Cesar Pelli, construction on the new main terminal began in January 2016. During the construction, the scope of the project was expanded so the terminal would feature 35 gates.[21] In March 2017, British Airways commenced nonstop service to London's Heathrow Airport on a Boeing 787.[22] The new terminal opened in November 2019 at a cost of $1.3 billion.[23][24]



The terminal

MSY has a single terminal with three concourses labeled A, B, and C. There is a total of 35 gates.[25] Departures and Ticketing are on Level 3, TSA Security Screening is on Level 2, and Arrivals and Baggage Claim are on Level 1.[26] International flights are processed in Concourse A, which contains the airport's customs facilities.

Ground transportation[edit]

The terminal is served by Interstate 10.[27] Bus service between the airport and downtown New Orleans is provided by New Orleans Regional Transit Authority Airport Express Route 202 and Jefferson Transit bus E-2.[28] Airport Shuttle has services to most hotels and hostels in the Central Business District of New Orleans.[29] The rental car facility is on the south side of the airfield next to the former terminal.[30]

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Air Canada Toronto–Pearson [31]
Air Canada Express Seasonal: Montréal–Trudeau[32] [31]
Air Canada RougeSeasonal: Montréal–Trudeau [31]
Alaska Airlines Seattle/Tacoma
Allegiant Air Cincinnati
American Airlines Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, Philadelphia, Phoenix–Sky Harbor
Seasonal: Washington–National
American Eagle Austin, Chicago–O'Hare, Miami, Washington–National [34]
Breeze Airways Charleston (SC), Fayetteville/Bentonville, Louisville, Norfolk, Orlando, Raleigh/Durham, Richmond
Seasonal: Fort Myers, Jacksonville (FL), Pittsburgh
British Airways London–Heathrow [36]
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia, Salt Lake City [37]
Frontier Airlines Atlanta, Cleveland, Columbus-Glenn, Denver, Indianapolis,[38] Orlando, Philadelphia
Seasonal: Raleigh/Durham
JetBlue Boston, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia (ends October 27, 2024)[39] [40]
Southwest Airlines Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Burbank,[41] Cancún, Chicago–Midway, Dallas–Love, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Houston–Hobby, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York–LaGuardia, Orlando, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, San Antonio, San Diego, St. Louis, Tampa, Washington–National
Seasonal: Long Beach, Raleigh/Durham
Spirit Airlines Atlanta, Baltimore,[citation needed] Cancún, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale, Houston–Intercontinental, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, San Juan, San Pedro Sula, Tampa
Seasonal: Detroit, Newark
Sun Country Airlines Seasonal: Minneapolis/St. Paul [43]
United Airlines Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, Newark, San Francisco, Washington–Dulles [44]
United Express Seasonal: Chicago–O'Hare, Houston–Intercontinental, Newark, Washington–Dulles [44]


Amazon Air Cincinnati, Lakeland
DHL Aviation Cincinnati, Houston–Intercontinental, Memphis
FedEx Express Indianapolis, Memphis
UPS Airlines Houston–Intercontinental, Louisville


Passenger numbers[edit]

Annual passenger traffic at MSY airport. See Wikidata query.

Annual traffic[edit]

Annual Passenger Traffic at MSY 2017-Present[45][46]
Year Passengers % Change
2017 12,009,512
2018 13,122,762 Increase09.3%
2019 13,644,666 Increase04.0%
2020 5,278,752 Decrease061.3%
2021 8,074,158 Increase052.8%
2022 11,895,985 Increase047.3%
2023 12,738,847 Increase07.1%

Top domestic destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from MSY
(January 2023 – December 2023)[47]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Georgia (U.S. state) Atlanta, Georgia 681,000 Delta, Southwest, Spirit
2 Texas Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 385,000 American, Spirit
3 Texas Houston–Intercontinental, Texas 374,000 Spirit, United
4 Florida Orlando, Florida 292,000 Frontier, Southwest, Spirit
5 Colorado Denver, Colorado 284,000 Frontier, Southwest, United
6 North Carolina Charlotte, North Carolina 254,000 American
7 Texas Dallas–Love, Texas 248,000 Southwest
8 California Los Angeles, California 238,000 Breeze, Delta, Southwest, Spirit
9 Texas Houston–Hobby, Texas 220,000 Southwest
10 FloridaFort Lauderdale, Florida 216,000 JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit

Airline market share[edit]

Largest airlines at MSY
(January 2023 – December 2023)[47]
Rank Airline Passengers Share
1 Southwest Airlines 4,296,000 34.77%
2 Delta Air Lines 2,061,000 16.68%
3 American Airlines 1,703,000 13.78%
4 United Airlines 1,564,000 12.65%
5 Spirit Airlines 1,176,000 9.52%
Other 1,557,000 12.60%

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On November 16, 1959 National Airlines Flight 967, a Douglas DC-7 flying from Tampa to New Orleans crashed into the Gulf of Mexico.[48] All 42 passengers and crew were killed.
  • On February 25, 1964, Eastern Air Lines Flight 304 operated with a Douglas DC-8 flying from New Orleans International Airport to Washington Dulles International Airport crashed nine minutes after takeoff. All 51 passengers and 7 crew members were killed.[49]
  • On March 30, 1967, Delta Air Lines Flight 9877, a Douglas DC-8-51, a training exercise with 6 crewmembers aboard, crashed on approach to MSY at 12:50 AM Central Time Zone after simulating a two-engine out approach, resulting in a loss of control. All 6 crewmembers and 13 on the ground were killed. The DC-8 crashed into a residential area, destroying several homes and a motel complex.[50]
  • 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 members on board. The aircraft was operating a domestic non-scheduled passenger flight from Memphis International Airport, Tennessee.[51]
  • On July 9, 1982, Pan Am Flight 759, en route from Miami to San Diego, departed New Orleans International on its way to a second stop-over at Las Vegas. The Boeing 727-200 jetliner took off from the east–west runway (Runway 10/28) traveling east but never gained an altitude higher than 150 feet (46 m). The aircraft 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 (NTSB) 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.[52]
  • On May 24, 1988, TACA Flight 110 was forced to glide without power and make an emergency landing on top of a levee east of New Orleans International Airport after flame-out in both engines of the Boeing 737-300 in a severe thunderstorm. There were no casualties and the aircraft was subsequently repaired and returned to service.[53]
  • On April 4, 2011, United Airlines Flight 497 en route from New Orleans to San Francisco made an emergency landing back at New Orleans after the flight crew reported smoke on board. The aircraft excursed from the runway during landing, sustaining minor damage. All 109 people on board evacuated the aircraft with no injuries. The NTSB determined that the captain had failed to properly manage the warning about smoke, which was actually erroneous and had been caused by contamination. No smoke was found on board the aircraft.[54]

See also[edit]


Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency

  1. ^ "Airport Data & Statistics". Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. January 2020. Retrieved May 13, 2020.
  2. ^ http://www.gcr1.com/5010WEB/REPORTS/AFD03052015MSY.pdf [permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b FAA Airport Form 5010 for MSY PDF, effective December 30, 2021.
  4. ^ "MSY airport data at skyvector.com". skyvector.com. Retrieved August 28, 2022.
  5. ^ Welcome to the Best of New Orleans! Blake Pontchartrain March 29, 2005 Archived November 26, 2005, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Dedication Plaque of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport – 2012". Airchive. 2CMedia. Archived from the original on March 23, 2013. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
  7. ^ "1946: Moisant Field opens on outskirts of New Orleans". The Times-Picayune. November 19, 2011. Archived from the original on February 23, 2018. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  8. ^ Caire, Vincent P. (2012). Louisiana Aviation: An Extraordinary History in Photographs. Louisiana State University Press. p. 71. ISBN 9780807142110.
  9. ^ "July 2, National Airlines introduces the only nonstop service to Europe from New Orleans". The Daily Advertiser. Lafayette, LA. June 6, 1978. p. 15. Retrieved June 11, 2021.
  10. ^ Verhoeff, Bert (photographer) (July 3, 1978). First line flight National Airlines from New Orleans at Schiphol (Photograph). Amsterdam Airport Schiphol: Algemeen Nederlandsch Fotobureau. Retrieved July 3, 2023.
  11. ^ "Flights from N.O. to Holland rerouted; not enough business". The Town Talk. Alexandria, LA. Associated Press. July 25, 1978. p. 9. Retrieved June 11, 2021.
  12. ^ "British Airways to connect London, New Orleans with nonstop flights". The Times-Picayune. October 20, 2016. Retrieved June 11, 2021.
  13. ^ Liu, Jim (October 20, 2016). "British Airways resumes New Orleans service from March 2017". Routesonline. Archived from the original on October 21, 2016. Retrieved June 11, 2021.
  14. ^ "Nonstop from New Orleans to London! Anything for you". The Shreveport Journal. April 13, 1981. Retrieved July 3, 2023.
  15. ^ "British Air Cuts Routes". The New York Times. Reuters. September 28, 1982. ProQuest 424409067.
  16. ^ http://www.departedflights.com Archived December 17, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Oct. 4, 1991 Official Airline Guide (OAG), New Orleans flight schedules
  17. ^ http://www.departedflights.com Archived December 17, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, May 1, 1984 Northeastern International Airlines system timetable
  18. ^ http://www.departedflights.com Archived December 17, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Aug. 1, 1985 Pride Air system timetable
  19. ^ "Dedication Plaque of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport – 2012". Airchive. 2CMedia. Archived from the original on March 23, 2013. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  20. ^ "$598 million airport terminal contract gets New Orleans Aviation Board approval". NOLA.com. Archived from the original on May 24, 2017. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  21. ^ "New Orleans Aviation Board Votes To Expand, Finance Airport's North Terminal Project - Biz New Orleans - March 2017". www.bizneworleans.com. March 17, 2017. Archived from the original on October 8, 2017. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  22. ^ Thompson, Richard (March 27, 2017). "British Airways' London-New Orleans service already expanding after inaugural flight arrives". The New Orleans Advocate. Retrieved June 11, 2021.
  23. ^ "Cleared for Take-Off: New Orleans International Airport's New Terminal Now Officially Open". November 6, 2018. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  24. ^ Baskas, Harriet (November 6, 2019). "New Orleans' new $1.3 billion airport terminal captures some of NOLA's spirit". CNBC. Retrieved January 21, 2023.
  25. ^ "MSY Terminal Map". Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  26. ^ "The Facility - the New MSY - Get Updates". May 19, 2022.
  27. ^ "New terminal at New Orleans Airport to open on Nov. 6". WGNO. October 21, 2019. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
  28. ^ "Jefferson Transport Bus Routes". Jefferson Parish Transport. Archived from the original on March 26, 2013. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  29. ^ "Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport – Ground Transportation". Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Archived from the original on September 5, 2011. Retrieved August 24, 2011.
  30. ^ Wendland, Tegan (October 29, 2019). "What You Need To Know About The New MSY". www.wwno.org. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
  31. ^ a b c "Flight Schedules". Archived from the original on September 25, 2019. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  32. ^ "AIR CANADA NS24 US OPERATION CHANGES – 25FEB24". Aeroroutes. February 26, 2024.
  33. ^ "Allegiant Air". Archived from the original on February 24, 2011. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  34. ^ a b "Flight schedules and notifications". Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  35. ^ "New Orleans City, Airport Officials and Breeze Airways Announce New Service at MSY". Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (Press release). May 20, 2021.
  36. ^ "Timetables". Archived from the original on February 27, 2017. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
  37. ^ "FLIGHT SCHEDULES". Archived from the original on June 21, 2015. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  38. ^ "Frontier Airlines Announces 17 New Routes Across Multiple Airports, Spanning the U.S. and Caribbean".
  39. ^ "View From the Wing". Retrieved May 8, 2024.
  40. ^ "JetBlue Airlines Timetable". Archived from the original on July 13, 2013. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  41. ^ "Southwest Airlines Extends Flight Schedule With New International Options And Most-Ever Departures". October 26, 2023. Retrieved October 26, 2023.
  42. ^ "Where We Fly". Archived from the original on December 23, 2017. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  43. ^ "Route Map & Flight Schedule". Archived from the original on August 15, 2018. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  44. ^ a b "Timetable". Archived from the original on January 28, 2017. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  45. ^ "MSY Archived Airport Data and Statistics 2017-2022". flymsy.com. Retrieved June 11, 2024.
  46. ^ "MSY 2023 Passenger Data". flymsy.com. Retrieved June 11, 2024.
  47. ^ a b "BTS Statistics for MSY". Retrieved August 17, 2023.
  48. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Douglas DC-7B N4891C Gulf of Mexico Archived August 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine." Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on December 23, 2009.
  49. ^ Accident description for N8607 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on April 30, 2019.
  50. ^ Accident description for N802E at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on April 30, 2019.
  51. ^ "N142D Accident Description". Aviation Safety Network. Archived from the original on July 23, 2011. Retrieved February 9, 2011.
  52. ^ Accident description for N4737 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on April 30, 2019.
  53. ^ Accident description for N75356 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on April 30, 2019.
  54. ^ Ranter, Harro. "Incident Airbus A320-232 N409UA, 04 Apr 2011". aviation-safety.net. Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved November 17, 2021.

External links[edit]