The Port Authority is committed to making the airports environmentally responsible with initiatives that affect facility operations, the aviation industry, and customers. The airports follow the approach to sustainability codified by Airports Council International-North America, known as EONS, which takes into account four key considerations when sustainability programs are designed and implemented:
Natural resource conservation
To complement the EONS framework, the airports follow the Port Authority agency wide sustainability policy:
The full text of the Port Authority's sustainability policy can be found here.
The Port Authority has published Sustainable Management Plans for Stewart International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, and Teterboro Airport and is rolling out initiatives detailed in each of the plans. Some of the marquee initiatives include:
The 2012 Sustainability Report for Stewart International Airport informs about progress since the release of the SWF Sustainable Management Plan. Click here to learn more.
The Port Authority is using industry-leading strategies to reduce delays, which saves time for passengers and millions of gallons of fuel, thereby reducing carbon emissions from aircraft on the airport.
In addition, the Port Authority supports NextGen, a nationwide modernization of air traffic control to increase airspace efficiency. NextGen seeks to transform the National Airspace System from a ground-based one of air traffic control to a satellite-based system. The Federal Aviation Administration's Next Generation Air Transportation System will alleviate delays at the nation's most congested and delay-prone airports. Click here to learn more.
Other delay reduction initiatives include:
The Port Authority has been recognized for decades as a leader in the aviation industry in reducing aircraft noise. The agency was one of the first and most persistent airport operators in the nation to successfully lobby the federal government to require the quieter "Stage 3" aircraft on all commercial flights. The Port Authority's Board of Commissioners also banned the use of "Stage 1" general aviation aircraft — the oldest and loudest planes — at Teterboro Airport in 2002.
Following are measures that have been implemented to reduce aircraft noise and its impacts on the communities:
The Port Authority utilizes Airport Noise and Operations Monitoring System (ANAMS) to collect noise and flight data from airport and community monitoring sites for JFK, EWR, LGA, and TEB airports in addition to flight track data from the FAA. It is the primary tool used by the Port Authority's noise office to research disturbances and to monitor noise abatement procedures.
As part of the "Terms and Conditions for the Operation of Jet Aircraft" at JFK, Newark Liberty, and LaGuardia, takeoffs are permitted only if they are conducted below the noise level of 112 PNdB. It is the responsibility of each air carrier to determine methods of compliance, such as thrust reduction, turns away from the community, limitations of gross weight, or utilizing aircraft with quieter engines.
Preferential runway systems are in place at each of the airports, which attempt to minimize the use of the most noise-sensitive runways. In this concept, an airport's runways are ranked on the basis of noise annoyance they cause. Therefore, an attempt is made by the FAA to use those runways that cause the most annoyance least frequently and conversely, to use those that cause the least annoyance most frequently.
Noise Abatement Departure procedures and techniques are used to reduce community noise by directing the flow of traffic away from densely populated areas and by distributing over-flights over various communities. Although the residential areas surrounding each airport are densely populated, they are also adjacent to unpopulated areas. Water bodies, park areas, wetlands, highways, and industrial areas at each airport present an opportunity to avoid or reduce the extent to which residential areas are over-flown. Working with the operating airlines and the FAA, a number of noise-abatement approach and departure procedures have been developed and implemented.
The Port Authority has implemented aircraft ground run-up restrictions at each airport to minimize run-up noise impacts in the nearby residential areas. The Port Authority must approve run-up location and aircraft orientation. During the night-time hours, no air carrier may conduct more than one run-up at a time, and no more than one engine may be run-up at full power for more than one minute.
A displaced threshold is a runway marking that identifies the runway threshold for landing aircraft, at a location other than the physical end of the runway. Because a displaced landing threshold is farther down the runway than the actual runway end, aircraft on approach must maintain a higher altitude to reach the extended touchdown point, which results in a slight decrease in noise over residential areas located near the ends of runways. The Port Authority has incorporated displaced runway thresholds on runways at JFK, Newark Liberty, and Teterboro airports.
The Port Authority works closely with communities and elected officials throughout the region with regard to aircraft noise and other airport issues.
In accordance with the Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990 (ANCA), airplanes with certificated weights greater than 75,000 pounds must conform to Stage III noise limits at Port Authority Airports. Stage III noise limits are defined in Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) Part 36 noise level classifications. In addition, airplanes that are type certificated after January 1, 2006 must meet Stage IV noise limits.
To reduce noise, the Port Authority asks the airlines to voluntarily avoid scheduling aircraft operations before 6 a.m. and after 12 midnight at LaGuardia airport. This has a positive effect with regard to aircraft noise at night.
From late May until October, as conditions permit, the Port Authority closes the airport during the night-time hours from midnight until 6:00 a.m. for required maintenance, which has a positive effect with regard to aircraft noise at night.
The Port Authority has implemented a school-soundproofing program under which schools in high noise-impacted areas have been selected for treatment. These schools are retrofitted with new windows, insulation, and ventilation systems. Actual noise measurements, taken before and after the work, have shown a reduction in aircraft-noise intrusion levels of at least 50 percent in the classroom. The Port Authority under the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funds this program with the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration.
The Port Authority has implemented a new automated noise hotline to collect community noise complaints. The toll free phone number for filing noise complaints is 800-225-1071. Noise complaints can also be filed electronically by filling out the web form.
The airports take part in many other environmental and sustainability programs:
We are building on recycling efforts by establishing a comprehensive policy and program for all of our airports. A major part of the program is the availability of recycling in the public areas of the passenger terminals. At least 75 percent of selected construction and demolition waste is recycled at all airports.