In the mid 1930's, it became apparent to the City of New Orleans that the municipal airport located on the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain was no longer large enough to service the City's growing air transportation needs. Expansion of the lakefront facilities was considered too costly. An Aviation Division of the Department of Public Property of the City of New Orleans was formed to coordinate with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA, now the Federal Aviation Administration -FAA) to establish a New Orleans Airport.
Before any construction began, the United States became involved in World War II on December, 1941. The land for Moisant Field was taken over by the U.S. Government for use as an air base. Facilities were constructed on this land by the Federal Government and were used by the Army until the end of the war in August 1945. In 1946, the Federal Government returned the land plus 295 adjacent acres to the City of New Orleans.
In May 1946, commercial air service began at Moisant Field, named for aviation pioneer John Bevins Moisant. By January 1947, the airport was considered to be one of the largest commercial airports in the nation encompassing 1360 acres of land that included three 5,000 foot runways and one 7,000 foot runway. In addition, it was the first airport to install an Instrument Landing System. In 1959, a new terminal and two new concourses were dedicated. The official name of the airport was changed in 1960 from Moisant Field to New Orleans International Airport.
A New Start
The first major expansion occurred in 1974 with the addition of two new concourses at the east end of the main terminal. This brought the total number of gates to 42.
In August 2001, the Airport's name was changed to the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in honor of the famous native-born musician's 100th birthday.
In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck the Louisiana-Mississippi Gulf coastline resulting in massive destruction and loss of life. The airport played a vital role in evacuating over 30,000 evacuees to safety. For three days, Armstrong International Airport was the busiest airport in the world. Commercial flights resumed service in September 2005, while the airport continued to play a variety of support roles in the rescue and recovery effort of the region.
The three letter identifier for Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is MSY. It stands for Moisant Stock Yards.
1960 Aerial View
2005 Aerial View