Press Release Article


Date: Sep 22, 2005
Press Release Number: 108-2005

For a photo of the arrestor bed successfully stopping a cargo plane at JFK, click here.

The Port Authority Board of Commissioners today authorized the design and construction of beds made of aerated cement blocks that crumble under the weight of an aircraft to stop it safely and quickly in the event it overruns a runway at Teterboro Airport.

The technology, known as the Engineered Materials Arresting System (EMAS), was pioneered by the Port Authority and the Federal Aviation Administration, and has proven effective at John F. Kennedy International Airport, where the world’s first EMAS was installed in 1996. In 1999, it safely stopped a commuter plane with 27 passengers aboard. In 2003, a cargo jet carrying three crew members was successfully stopped, and earlier this year, a second cargo plane with three crew members aboard also was safely halted. The first system will be installed at Teterboro by the end of 2006.

“Today’s Board action demonstrates our continued commitment to investing in state-of-the-art safety improvements at Teterboro,” said Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia, who noted the project was originally scheduled for completion in mid-2007. “We are going to complete this project on an accelerated schedule because it simply needs to get done now. One of our primary objectives as a transportation agency is ensuring the highest possible levels of safety at all of our facilities. From continually improving emergency response by working with local responders and placing Port Authority Police in charge of security and on-airport response, to the purchase of technologically advanced firefighting equipment and now the installation of EMAS, investing in safety at Teterboro and all of our facilities is one of the Port Authority’s and my own highest priorities.”

Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “The Port Authority is the world’s leader in EMAS technology. We designed the technology with the FAA and installed the world’s first system at JFK in 1996. We currently have nearly 20 percent of all such systems in the entire country. No airport operator has a more aggressive program to install EMAS than the Port Authority.”

Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “The technology has proven effective in bringing aircraft to a safe and complete stop. It could be compared to driving a vehicle into gradually deepening snow. The bed, made of collapsible aerated cement blocks, rises from 0 to 30 inches and can safely stop an aircraft traveling up to 80 mph.”

The Board’s action authorizes installation of the system at the end of Runway 6 at Teterboro. Additionally, Chairman Coscia has expressed his commitment to install another EMAS at the end of Teterboro’s Runway 19. That work would begin once nearby Redneck Avenue is relocated slightly east.

The total cost for the installation of EMAS on Runway 6 is estimated at $11 million, and $9 million for the subsequent installation on Runway 19. Both projects are eligible for federal funding.

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 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; the Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; 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.

The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.