Association co-ordinates list of available aircraft to support New Orleans operations

Business aviation operators have been urged to donate aircraft time to the US Army-led relief effort in the Gulf of Mexico, while New Orleans business aviation airport remains closed.

The US National Business Aviation Association called on its members to liaise with military planners in the flood-affected area to use private aircraft in the relief effort. The association says it expects relief organisations, including the Red Cross and the US Federal Emergency Management Agency, to request the support of fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters and other mobile equipment and is co-ordinating the list of available assets.

As Flight International went to press, New Orleans airspace was restricted to aircraft involved in search-and-rescue, military and medical flights and approved by military authorities. The NBAA says its members have been denied permission to fly into the area for aircraft owners to check damage to their property or to privately evacuate employees or clients.

New Orleans International airport has returned to full operation, with 24h air traffic control during the relief operation period. But the airport operator says there is no timeline for the resumption of air service into the area.

New Orleans Lakefront airport, which was to host the static display of the NBAA annual convention, originally scheduled for mid-November, is still completely underwater, says the FAA. “We have no expected recovery timeframe available,” it adds. New Orleans Downtown Heliport, located next to the Louisiana Superdome, is under exclusive relief operation use.

The only other airfield in the affected area not to have reopened at least partially as Flight International went to press was Pascagoula Lott airport in Mississippi, near Mobile, Alabama, which reportedly had no power or communications.


Source: Flight International