Katrina Damage News Slow To Emerge

 - April 9, 2007, 11:23 AM

Lou Pepper, president of Atlantic Aviation, today told AIN he was “saddened and disheartened” by the lack of news about how the Atlantic FBO at New Orleans Lakefront Airport weathered Hurricane Katrina. “You’d think this was 1955 rather than 2005,” he said. “All we have are rumors–some saying the facility is ’buried.’” While both New Orleans airports remained closed this morning, the picture at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is more encouraging, said Pepper. “Our facility is intact and we’re told it may be starting minimal operations later this afternoon, stepping things up tomorrow [Wednesday]. We have a skeleton crew standing by.” To his knowledge, all Atlantic customers’ aircraft were able to evacuate in time to escape damage from the Category 4 hurricane. Pepper added that virtually all Atlantic employees at the two New Orleans facilities suffered personal property damage–some virtually wiped out, though no one was injured. In Alabama, Mobile Downtown Airport is open, but the ILS, VOR and approach lights are inoperative, according to FSS data. Gulfport-Biloxi Airport, Miss., was expected to reopen at noon local time today, but as of early this afternoon, FSS reported the airport was still closed except to emergency rotary-wing traffic.