Wednesday, June 3, 2015

New York Airports Top List of Flight Delays, Says New Report

By Benét J. Wilson / Published June 3, 2015

The three New York City airports have the highest percentage of flights left waiting on the runway, either before takeoff or after landing, says a new study released today by the Global Gateway Alliance (GGA). And the closing of runway 4L 22R — which handles 25 percent of the traffic at JFK Airport — for rehabilitation on June 1 will not help the delays situation.

JFK Airport Aerial on approach. Image: Courtesy of AirwaysNews

JFK Airport Aerial on approach. Image: Courtesy of AirwaysNews

GGA, a nonprofit advocacy group that addresses issues related to infrastructure at JFK, Newark and LaGuardia, found that they were the top three airports in the country during 2014 with the highest rate of tarmac delays lasting between 61 and 300 minutes, the measure used by the FAA.

“At nearly 2,500 tarmac delays, LaGuardia had the highest percentage of flights disrupted,” said the study. “JFK saw an even greater number of flights facing the hours-long delays, at 2,660.  Newark’s tarmac delays accounted for over 1,600 flights.”

While these numbers represent a small percentage of overall flights at these airports, the delays affected approximately 660,000 passengers in 2014, said the study.  “In other words, over half a million people either entering or departing the region were left sitting on the runway for between one and five hours,” it said.

Of the 10 airports around the country with the most tarmac delays, the three New York area airports also had the highest number of extreme delays, lasting between 181 and 300 minutes, or three to five hours.  “JFK and Newark were the worst and second-worst airports in this category, and between the three airports, nearly 40 flights, or 4,100 passengers, experienced these extreme tarmac delays,” said the study.


Chart courtesy of GGA

Chart courtesy of GGA

And things will get worse at JFK before they get better as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey prepares for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Runway 4L-22R, which includes installing high-speed taxiways that will allow aircraft landing at JFK to exit the runway faster.

The Port is also widening the runway and taxiways to accept new, large aircraft, which it says will allow for more passengers to be carried per aircraft operation and facilitate air travel growth for the next 30 years.

The reconstruction and rehabilitation of Runway 4L-22R is being done in three stages in components including:

  • Constructing 728 feet of runway pavement on the north side of the runway to maintain departure length
  • Widening the runway from 150 feet to 200 feet to comply with the needs of Group VI aircraft
  • Rehabilitating the runway using concrete to replace existing asphalt
  • Constructing high-speed taxiways
  • Constructing new taxiway exits leading to the Central Terminal Area, new taxiway access points to the north end of the runway, and other taxiway modifications; and
  • Replacing and upgrading communications/navigational aid and electrical systems.

The rehabilitation is expected to be completed by December 2015.

The New York airspace is the most congested in the nation and often the source of the region’s chronic delays, said the GGA study.  “And due to the close proximity of the airports, delays at one airport often mean delays at the others,” it said. “In order to get passengers off the ground and into the air, and vice versa, the FAA must first replace decades-old radar with the satellite-based technology of NextGen to clear the airways and eradicate backlogs on the runways.”

Cover image: Courtesy of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

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The post New York Airports Top List of Flight Delays, Says New Report appeared first on Airchive.

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