The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey Board of Commissioners approved four measures expected to make runways and taxiways at John F. Kennedy International (JFK) and Newark Liberty International (EWR) more efficient.
The measures include the installation of a ground surveillance system at JFK that works like GPS to pinpoint the exact location of all aircraft at the airport, the widening of 32 taxiway intersections at EWR, the extension of two runways at JFK and construction of a taxiway hold pad at JFK aimed at creating more efficient queuing.
The improvements, which will cost $68M, are based on recommendations from PANYNJ’s Flight Delay Task Force.
The task force, which began meeting last year, released recommendations on delay reductions in December. The group reconvened in July to demand that federal officials overhaul the outdated air traffic control system. That was a one-time meeting, though it wouldn’t be surprising if they met occasionally “to update progress and continue to push for change,” says Pasquale DiFulco, PANYNJ spokesman.
The port authority and other organizations, including the Air Transport Association, continue to oppose efforts to limit capacity by implementing an auction system for airlines to bid on slots because they believe the strategy won’t reduce flight delays and will serve as a tax on passengers by increasing ticket prices about 12%.
Port authority Chairman Anthony Coscia says in a statement that the PANYNJ initiatives “demonstrate our ongoing and firm commitment to do what we can do to improve the flying experience for our customers. … We now call on our federal partners to do their part and begin replacing the decades-old air traffic control system at our nation’s airports, beginning with the three major airports in the New York region.”