Tropical Storm Harvey has already caused thousands of flight cancellations around Houston and could cripple regional aviation through the U.S. Labor Day holiday, taking a bite out of airline profits during one of the year"™s busiest travel periods.
Since making landfall on Friday, the deadly storm has dumped several feet of rain on Houston and surrounding areas, forcing the temporary closure of three airports.
Normal regional airline operations will likely not resume until Wednesday or Thursday, even under the best-case scenario.
The Houston airport authority has not said when it will reopen, but the Federal Aviation Administration said it would not be before Wednesday for Hobby Airport and Thursday for Houston Intercontinental Airport.
"They are going to be opened when conditions allow us to operate safely. Period. I don"™t want to put a date on it," Houston Airports System spokesman Bill Begley said.
A government official briefed on the matter said with limited jet fuel in place and impassable roads, Houston airports may officially reopen this week but are not likely to resume anything close to full operations until next week.
Currently just one road to Hobby is open and all roads near Houston Intercontinental remain impassable. A big issue is getting TSA officials, flight crews and passengers to the airports.
This could mean service disruptions that last through the close of the Labor Day travel period, which had been projected to be even busier than normal this year…