Press Release Article


Date: Apr 02, 2012
Press Release Number: 44-2012

The Port Authority will light the control tower at John F. Kennedy International Airport blue tonight for World Autism Awareness Day to raise awareness about the disorder and efforts to find a cure.

The United Nations General Assembly declared April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day five years ago to bring attention to autism, a pervasive disorder that affects tens of millions of people. Three years ago, Autism Speaks – the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization – launched "Light It Up Blue" under which iconic landmarks around the world will be lit blue in support of efforts to find the cause, as well as prevention and treatments for autism.

"Autism touches dozens of our own employees as well as thousands of people who use our facilities every day," said Port Authority Chairman David Samson. "Lighting the JFK tower blue is a small token to show our support for the efforts that are under way to find a cure."

"An estimated 1 of every 88 children in the United States is diagnosed with autism," said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. "We are pleased to join with other public and private entities to show our support for the efforts of Autism Speaks by calling attention to this growing health concern."

"The percentage of children receiving a diagnosis of autism has increased tenfold in the last 40 years, and Autism Speaks is the leading advocacy organization working on their behalf," said Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni. "By participating in this year's Light it Up Blue campaign, the Port Authority is doing its part to shine a light of hope for those affected by autism spectrum disorders."

"As the parent of an autistic child, I know firsthand the difficulties and challenges faced each day by thousands of parents in similar situations in New York," said Port Authority Commissioner Jeffrey Lynford. "I'm pleased that the Port Authority continues to show its strong support for our cause and the causes of many worthwhile groups throughout the region by lighting our facilities to honor their work."

To learn more about Autism please visit

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Steve Coleman, 212 435-7777

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which does not receive tax dollars from either state, 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; the Port Authority-Port Jersey Marine Terminal and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.

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