NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport reopened for cargo traffic on Sunday and there will be limited passenger service beginning Tuesday, the airport's director said.
Roy Williams said he expects about 30 departures and arrivals of passenger planes a day at the airport - far below the usual 174.
Williams estimated that the airport's closure has cost the New Orleans area economy $40 million.
Domestic carriers will be the first to return to the airport, Williams said. International carriers will have to wait, in part because of hurricane damage to the international concourse's roof.
Williams estimated that the airport is now housing about 5,000 recovery workers. Many of them have been sleeping in the baggage handling areas and will have to be moved as airport traffic picks up, he said.
Meanwhile, officials of businesses in the New Orleans central business district will be able to get temporary passes into the city starting Monday so that they can retrieve vital records or equipment needed to make payroll or otherwise run their businesses.
The idea is to allow employers and business owners access to payroll records, hard drives or other items business owners might need to try and set up shot outside of New Orleans, said Johnny Brown, a spokesman for the state police.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press
The last day of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival means the start of busy days at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.
87 days after reopening to commercial airline service, New Orleans has brought back 60 of its previously scheduled 166 daily departures, or 36 percent of its load.
The airport has just received a $15.2 million federal grant that will likely be used to help repairs. There is still a hole in the roof over the airport's C concourse.
After two years and $34 million, the airport put the finishing touches on a 10,000-foot runway last week, and plans a formal ceremony in December.