Press Release Article


Date: Dec 06, 2007
Press Release Number: 108-2007

Task Force Created by Agency Also Issues Final Report;
Click Here to Read the Report

Spearheading an effort to increase capacity, make better use of existing capacity, expedite the use of new technologies to improve efficiency, and upgrade customer service, the Port Authority today reiterated its call to reduce flight delays through a series of recommendations to be implemented immediately. The agency also announced that the Flight Delay Task Force it assembled has completed its report, which also was released today.

The Task Force identified nearly 100 technical and customer-service initiatives that can improve capacity, reduce delays, and improve the travel experience for passengers in the event of a delay. In addition to those recommendations, Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia and Executive Director Anthony E. Shorris called for the following actions:

"We believe there are three main principles to improving the flight delay problem: expanding capacity, better management of the capacity we have now, and better customer service," Chairman Coscia said. "The Task Force report shows that a diverse group of stakeholders responsible for the aviation system agree on certain strategies for reducing flight delays. Having reached consensus on these recommendations, these stakeholders should now begin to implement them without delay."

Mr. Shorris said, "At the Port Authority, we have worked tirelessly and invested hundreds of millions of dollars to provide workable solutions to delays in air travel. By coupling common-sense practices with the immediate implementation of new and emerging technologies, airport operators, airlines and the federal government can fulfill a collective promise to provide world-class service to our customers. Capping flights or burdening customers with new costs isn’t the answer. Instead, we need comprehensive solutions, and we will continue to have an active and leading role in developing those solutions."

Flight Delay Task Force Highlights

Short Term: Managing Delays

The Flight Delay Task Force members were able to identify 27 short-term initiatives that can improve delays by next summer. Most of these recommendations focus on the implementation of readily available technologies or modernizing outdated policies. Some key short-term measures include:

Long Term: Expanding Capacity

The remaining 50 recommendations deal with the fundamental physical capacity of airports, sophisticated technology that will require time and substantial investment to implement, and complex new policies and procedures. Some key long-term measures include:

Customer Service: Improving the Customer Experience

Passengers deserve a comfortable travel experience. Delays make this more difficult, but the Task Force members found that, working together, the airport operators and the airlines can do more to help. The recommendations focus on the critical needs of delayed passengers: understanding the situation so that they can make informed choices, finding amenities and services to help cope with delays, locating alternative transportation or accommodation in the event of extreme delays, and preventing situations where passengers are stranded on the tarmac for extended periods. Some key recommendations include: