Tower Reopens At New Orleans Lakefront Airport
The control tower at Lakefront Airport in New Orleans, which has been closed since Hurricane Katrina damaged it in 2005, is now back in operation. General aviation groups had lobbied for the tower to re-open, saying the airport was getting busier and several close calls already had caused concern about safety. Three controllers and one supervisor now are staffing the tower, with more controllers to start training soon. "With the tower now operational, traffic is expected to climb rapidly, and business operators requiring a tower now will be able to return to Lakefront," the National Business Aviation Association said on Monday. The tower will be open every day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The airport is closer to downtown than the region's main Louis Armstrong New Orleans International airport, and is popular with GA pilots and business flyers. Controllers initially will work with radios and cell phones until the tower's radar equipment is replaced, according to the Associated Press. The tower should be fully operational by early next year. A new tower also opened this week at Stennis International Airport, near Biloxi, Miss. Local officials said the airport improvements will speed the region's continuing Katrina recovery.