Houston’s main airport will remain closed until Thursday, officials said, extending a block on commercial flights to and from the city that is rippling through the national air transport system as the region is inundated with rain from Tropical Storm Harvey.
The Federal Aviation Administration had said George Bush Intercontinental Airport would start receiving arrivals at noon Monday but updated its guidance shortly before that deadline to say the airport would remain closed to all but military and relief flights.
The National Hurricane Center said the storm was poised to re-enter the Gulf of Mexico on Monday and make landfall near Houston again later this week, suggesting a prospect of more record rain for the fourth-biggest U.S. city. The area has seen as much as 30 inches of rain in recent days and could receive as much as 20 more.
United Continental Holdings Inc., the airport’s biggest carrier, had planned to send larger aircraft to Houston on Monday to move passengers and supplies in and out. Main routes to and from the airport had been severely affected by flooding, making it tough or impossible for passengers and staff to reach the facility.
More than 1,400 flights to and from Bush had been canceled as of 10.30 a.m. local time Monday. Spirit Airlines Inc., the second-largest operator at Bush, previously canceled all flights to and from the airport till midday Wednesday, before the FAA extended the closure.
Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport also remains closed until at least Wednesday. A big base for Southwest Airlines Co. flights, Hobby is on Houston’s southeast side, which has experienced some of the worst flooding, closing highways and other access roads. Southwest has canceled all flights to and from the airport Monday and Tuesday.
Smaller facilities such as Houston Executive Airport on the city’s far west side were also closed through Wednesday.