By Glenn Pew, Contributing Editor, Video Editor
Hurricane Sandy caused a total of 19,574 commercial flight cancelations from Saturday, Oct. 27, through Thursday, Nov. 1 (known as of Wednesday), according to FlightStats.com, as travel regained its footing, Wednesday, and La Guardia remained closed. La Guardia was still flooded with standing water Wednesday, and may require assessment by engineers to determine the extent of salt-water damage to equipment, airport lighting, and ground-based navigation aids before it runs at capacity. The projection for Thursday operations at other area airports -- JFK International and Newark Liberty -- is trending toward normalcy. But there is a lot of people- and package-moving to make up and La Guardia is a major component.
Of the 2,890 flights reported as canceled Wednesday, La Guardia accounts for 971. Peak cancelations occurred Tuesday at Philadelphia International, according to FlightStats, when airport logged 1,068 canceled flights, compared to runner-up Newark Liberty at 1,011. La Guardia saw about 1,000 operations per day in 2011 and has two intersecting runways, both of which have been extended on fill into bay waters at the far west end of Long Island Sound. JFK International Airport, which also has runways bordered by bay water, and Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey both resumed limited service Wednesday. At its peak, Monday, the storm left 7,944 flights canceled. Wednesday's forecast for Thursday puts 525 cancelation listings on the boards.