NBAA: Evaluating Hurricane Katrina's Impact On New Orleans
News reports coming from New Orleans, La., yesterday describing the damage wreaked by Hurricane Katrina are painting a grim, bleak picture for one of America's most dynamic cities and -- most importantly -- for her residents. Sadly, those same reports indicate the worst of the storm's horrific damage is not yet known; it may be months before an accurate assessment of Katrina's impact on the region is fully understood. And Katrina could affect the business aviation industry as well: The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) plans to hold its 2005 Annual Meeting and Convention in New Orleans, Nov. 15 through 17. In a statement released yesterday, the association said it "intends to make every effort to try to move forward and assist in the economic recovery of the region" while it assesses the storm's impact. "In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the National Business Aviation Association's thoughts and concerns are for the people of New Orleans and the greater Gulf Coast region, who have witnessed a devastating tragedy and suffered terrible losses as a result of the storm," the statement said. "To ensure that the Convention will be able to proceed, NBAA will closely monitor developments over the coming weeks and will dispatch a team as soon as possible to conduct an on-the-ground self-assessment of the Morial Convention Center, Lakefront Airport, the surrounding hotels and restaurants, the transportation infrastructure, and other facilities and infrastructure required for this special event." In 2001, NBAA was forced to postpone its annual meeting -- scheduled for mid-September -- in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks and widespread grounding of aircraft throughout the U.S. That convention, which was also scheduled for New Orleans, was eventually held there Dec. 12 through 14, 2001.