Press Release Article


Date: Aug 01, 2008
Press Release Number: 83-2008

Port Authority officials greeted more than 500 passengers and crew who arrived at Kennedy International Airport today aboard Emirates Airline Flight 3801 from Dubai on the first U.S. scheduled flight of the Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger aircraft.

The Port Authority began preparing the airport for this new generation of large aircraft in 2004, when its Board of Commissioners authorized a $179 million airport improvement program that included infrastructure modifications needed to accommodate the aircraft. These included strengthening four taxiway bridges and runway pavement to handle the heavier planes, and relocating a taxiway to enable the wider-body aircraft to maneuver safely and efficiently. In addition to implementing those improvements, the Port Authority worked closely with the Federal Aviation Administration to establish safe operating procedures for the aircraft.

Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “The Board authorized this program because we recognized the pivotal role of aircraft like the A380 in adding much-needed aviation capacity in our region. Over the last four years, the number of annual passengers at JFK has increased by more than 43 percent, to 48.2 million. We are excited that the A380 and other new large aircraft will help us meet existing and future demand for air travel at JFK, and we congratulate all of our partners celebrating this historic milestone with us.”

Executive Director Chris Ward said, “We're ushering in a new era in aviation as JFK begins its 61st year of service. This aircraft and future planes like it will be a key factor in accommodating additional passengers without adding flights to already overcrowded airspace. And with $6.4 billion earmarked for aviation improvements in our 10-year capital plan, customers can expect to see many more investments that they will benefit from.”

Besides adding capacity, the new large aircraft offers a number of other benefits, including quieter engines, and reduced emissions and fuel consumption. Several other airlines are expected to enter their new large aircraft into service at JFK over the next 18 months. JFK's Terminal 1 and Terminal 4 are each equipped to handle the aircraft.

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
Candace McAdams or Pasquale DiFulco, 212 435-7777

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; 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.

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