Aviation

John B. Moisant
John B. Moisant

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport

As early as the mid 1930s it was apparent that expanded airport facilities would be needed to serve the city of New Orleans’ growing air transportation needs. In 1940, the city of Kenner was selected as the site of the new airport. The land was designated as Moisant Field in honor of John B. Moisant, an early daredevil aviation pioneer. Construction was delayed when the United States became involved in World War II in December 1941. The land for Moisant Field was taken over by the U.S. government for use as an air base. In 1946, the government returned the land plus 295 adjacent acres to the City of New Orleans. Commercial air service began at Moisant Field in May of 1946. The official name of the airport was changed in 1960 to New Orleans International Airport. In August 2001, the name was changed to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in honor of the famous jazz musician on the one hundredth anniversary of his birth. In May of 1992, the east-west runway was reopened with the new extension into St. Charles Parish. The airport played a major role in rescue efforts for victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Airport
A scene in front of the airport in its early days. (Photo courtesy of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport)

This text is copyright © material by Marilyn Richoux, Joan Becnel and Suzanne Friloux, from St. Charles Parish, Louisiana: A Pictorial History, 2010.

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