News

New York investigates measures to reduce flight delays

31 Oct 2007 by Mark Caswell

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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