New York investigates measures to reduce flight delays

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has announced recommendations to
reduce current flight delays and congestion that are the result of a continuing
increase in air traffic.

The proposals come in direct response to the Federal
Aviation Administration’s recommendations to deal with the problems by cutting
flights at JFK to 80 per hour. This restriction would be the equivalent to the
cap on air traffic at JFK in the late 1960s. The Port Authority has argued that this would not solve the
problem realistically. Said Anthony E. Shorris, executive director of the Port
Authority:

“The FAA’s
action would simply put a ‘No Vacancy’ sign up at one of the nation’s busiest
airports and then walk away from the problem. Cutting the number of flights
at one airport to levels not seen in almost 40 years and declaring victory
isn’t a solution.”

Since March 2006 flight demand at JFK has increased by 41
per cent, so If the FAA had implemented a cap last year, JFK airport would have
had to turn away around 10,000 passengers per day.

“Unfortunately, the FAA’s approach of cutting flights at JFK
isn’t a solution, in fact it’s potentially a recipe for worsening the problem
by pushing growing passenger demand to other airports,” said Anthony Coscia, Port Authority chairman.

“We face a crisis right now and real solutions mean meeting
the demands of families and businesses who need to fly, expanding capacity to
allow the system to continue to grow, and working to treat all customers
better.”

The Port Authority hopes that the problems will instead be
overcome by introducing 17 new initiatives which will essentially aim to expand
capacity through the use of new technology, use of the newly acquired Stewart International Airport,
better management of planes in-flight and on the ground, and improved customer service
during delays.

Among the recommendations the Port Authority hopes will reduce delays include: installing
advanced ground surveillance systems to allow more efficient management of
take-offs and landings, adding an additional westbound departure route, adding
taxiways to handle more aircraft, and improving navigation systems to reduce
space between planes in-flight.

The Port Authority has since called on congress to pass the
‘FAA Reauthorisation Bill’ in order to fund and oversee the FAA in the
implementation of these potential solutions.

For more information visit panynj.gov.

Report by Jenny Southan


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