Here is a list of the challenges facing the region's airports as well as our top priorities, which encompass all aspects of airport infrastructure and the passenger experiences, as well as jobs and the regional economy.
Increasing Passenger Traffic
In 2015, New York City airports handled a record-breaking 117 million passengers, with approximately 53 million passengers at JFK, 27 million at LaGuardia, and 36 million at Newark. By 2030, 130 million passenger are expected. (Port Authority of NY & NJ)
Growing Tourism Industry
New York City welcomed a record-breaking 56.4 million tourists in 2014, generating an all-time-high $61.3 billion in overall economic impact. (The Office of the Mayor and NYC & Co)
Ranked Worst in America
In 50 years, New York and New Jersey have gone from having three leading global airports to three of the worst ranked in the nation. According to a 2012 Travel + Leisure Airport Survey, the dilapidated state of the airport buildings and general lack of cleanliness; the poorly run check-in, security and baggage handling processes; and poor WiFi connections meant LaGuardia was ranked the worst airport in the U.S., JFK ranked fourth worst, and Newark fifth worst.
The airports generate $63 billion in the economic activity and account for about half a million jobs, including 213,00 jobs at JFK, 147,000 at Newark and 87,000 at LaGuardia. (GGA/Partnership for NYC)
Operating at Capacity
The number of flights allowed into New York's major airports is capped and, as a result, our airports are unable to add a single new arriving or departing flight without losing another, which inhibits growth.
Plagued by Delays
LaGuardia, JFK and Newark lead the nation in flight delays. This is caused in part by the decades-old air traffic control system, which is ill-equipped to manage the world's most crowded airspace. The congestion in the New York airspace is responsible for nearly 75% of all air traffic delays in the country every day.
If there is no material improvement in the congestion and delay situation in our region, studies have shown that by 2030, the New York area will be faced with 30 million unserved air passengers per year. (NY Daily News)
Cost of Congestion
The congestion at New York area airports resulted in $2.6 billion in losses to the regional economy in 2008 and is expected to rise to $79 billion by 2025, including over $16 billion in lost revenue and $5.5 billion in lost labor income. (Partnership for NYC)
The solution is to modernize the air traffic control system through the implementation of a series of nation-wide technological reforms known as NextGen, which will replace the out-of-date radar system with GPS, along with expanding terminal and runway capacity, improving amenities and increasting transportation access.
Delays Cost Money
It is estimated that a 30-35% reduction in NextGen funding would delay implementation until 2035 and result in $80 billion in economic losses and $1.3 million in lost jobs per year. (NY Daily News)
Work with the Port Authority, airlines, private developers and other stakeholders to advocate for the implementation of a timely redevelopment of LaGuardia's Central Terminal Building.
Research and call for the improvement and expansion of access and mass transit links to the airports, including the creation of dedicated lanes to airports, an HOV lane at all three airports, and improved branding and marketing of existing transit routes.
Advocate for the full rollout of NextGen technology at the three New York metropolitcan airports and for the prioritization of our airports amid national implementation plans.
Work with the CBP and TSA to explore new and improved technology and screening options to alleviate security and customs lines at airports and strengthen security at our airports.
Find solutions to facilitate growth in New York's air cargo industry to create more jobs for the surrounding community and spur economic growth in the region.
Advocate for, and consider partially financing through a public-private partnership, additional greeters in critical areas of all three airports to enhance the passenger experience at a critical period.
Advocate for, and consider partially financing through a public-private partnership, improved signage for better in-airport navigation.
Advocate for improved customer-service training of TSA officers to provide a better passenger experience.
Identify airport amenities that are critical to providing a 21st century passenger experience and call for their implementation at New York airports.
Advocate for the development of more streamlined vehicular traffic patterns and improved taxi and limousine service options to facilitate efficient pick-ups and drop-offs and ease overall congestion on airport grounds.