New Orleans Lakefront Airport

Stop 6 of 7 in the Lakefront Airport tour

The tour ends at the Moffett Hangar. The Shushan Airport was one of the most advanced airports in the country in the 1930s. The Orleans Levee Board had to keep extending the runways to accommodate the newer and increasingly larger passenger planes, but such changes reached an endpoint. Louisiana’s aviation advances had depended on a few key individuals: Wedell and Williams died in plane crashes; Long was assassinated; and Shushan went to prison. Despite these problems, the Shushan Airport and Louisiana’s aviation pioneers made their marks on aviation history.

Following World War II, the airport lost commercial flights to Moisant Field (now Louis Armstrong International Airport), but it remains very busy handling personal and company flights, flight schools, and some military flights.

Images

 Admiral William Moffett Hangar

Admiral William Moffett Hangar

This hangar was named for the "father of naval aviation," who died in 1933. Lettering that read "Shushan Airport" was on the roof until the name change and subsequent removal of Shushan's name. Courtesy of the Louisiana Division/City Archives, New Orleans Public Library, WPA Photographic Collection View File Details Page

New Orleans Lakefront Airport in 1964: More Function, Less Beauty

New Orleans Lakefront Airport in 1964: More Function, Less Beauty

In 1964, the Orleans Levee Board extended the runway and covered the facade with concrete slabs to make a nuclear fallout shelter, which seemed to make sense in the Cold War. The airport remained like this until after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Courtesy of the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies, Judge Leon Ford III Collection, Southeastern Louisiana University View File Details Page

Hurricane Katrina and Restoration

Hurricane Katrina and Restoration

Storm surges from Lake Pontchartrain caused by Hurricane Katrina severely damaged many of the airport buildings. The damage prompted the restoration of the airport to its former beauty. This aerial photo depicts the reconstruction of the Wedell Hangar, which is on the other side of the airport. Courtesy of Jay Taffet/Hawthorne Global Aviation Services View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Teresa Thessen, “New Orleans Lakefront Airport,” New Orleans Historical, accessed June 28, 2017, http://neworleanshistorical.org/items/show/609.

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