Press Release Article


Date: May 28, 2009
Press Release Number: 65-2009

New York Governor David Paterson and New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine today joined a coalition of more than 250 agencies, businesses and associations to urge full funding for NextGen initiatives to overhaul the country’s air traffic control system and significantly reduce delays.

The governors are the latest members to join a Port Authority-led coalition of business, travel, tourism, civic, labor, education, airline and aviation officials who believe NextGen is the best state-of-the-art solution to the persistent air traffic delays that have plagued the New York-New Jersey’s major airports for years.

New York Governor David Paterson said, "We need a long-term solution now to ensure that the traveling public doesn’t continue to suffer through needless delays at our airports well into the future.  Since the delays experienced at our airports resonate throughout the country, we strongly believe this is a national problem that needs a national solution and NextGen is the answer."

New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine said, "Cutting back on flights to our airports as a way to reduce delays would have a major impact on the traveling public and also would put a significant dent in this region’s growing travel and tourism industry.  We must find the necessary resources to upgrade the antiquated air traffic control system to ensure the future viability of air travel  in this region."

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, "We thank the governors for joining with us and more than 250 other key stakeholders to push the federal government to upgrade its 1950’s-era air traffic control system.  An efficient air traffic system is critically important  to the region’s economic health and the time for action on NextGen is now."  

Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said, "The growing high-level support for NextGen should send a loud and clear message to Congress that this is an issue of major importance not only to this region but to the nation.  The governors understand what’s at stake, the business community is fully behind us and we are optimistic this support will lead to immediate action."

Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Susan Bass Levin said, "We’re excited to have Governor Corzine and Governor Paterson join this fight for funding for this state-of-the-art technology that we know will ensure the long-term viability of our airports as well as those across the nation."

The Alliance is calling for an FAA Reauthorization Bill that includes the billions of dollars necessary to advance, install and operate NextGen technology and procedures as quickly as possible, starting with the nation’s most congested airspace like the metropolitan New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles areas.  FAA studies have shown that 75 percent of the nation’s air traffic delays have their genesis at one of the New York metropolitan region’s airports.

As part of the FAA Reauthorization Bill, NextGen - which incorporates an advanced Global Positioning System (GPS) to help air traffic controllers move more aircraft with increased efficiency - will need a long-term, multi-year commitment from Congress and the administration.  Total funding is expected to require $8 to $10 billion for the first 10 years, and $15 to $22 billion through 2025.

The Alliance’s membership features representatives from 21 states, the District of Columbia, and Brazil, and includes family-run businesses (Gilbane Building Company and Holt Construction); an international corporation with offices in 52 countries (Accenture); the world’s largest business federation (the U.S. Chamber of Commerce); the nation’s largest labor union (the International Botherhood of Teamsters); and New York City’s top corporate, investment  and entrepreneurial firms (Partnership for New York).

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, Stewart International and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island;  the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan and is a partner in the Access to the Region's Core tunnel project.