Date: Feb 21, 2013
Press Release Number: 24-2013
Passenger traffic at the Port Authority’s four commercial airports totaled 109.4 million in 2012, a 3.3 percent increase over 2011 and just shy of the pre-recession record 110 million air travelers set in 2007.
John F. Kennedy International Airport set its all-time record with 49.3 million passengers in 2012. JFK and Newark Liberty International Airport together accommodated a record 37.7 million international passengers.
LaGuardia Airport also recorded strong growth in passenger traffic, posting a 6.6 percent increase from 2011 to 25.7 million passengers, just below the airport’s 2005 record. Growth at LaGuardia was helped in part by expanded service from Delta Air Lines and JetBlue Airways.
The 3.3 percent jump in overall regional aviation traffic translates to 3.5 million more passengers at the Port Authority’s airports in 2012, compared with the prior year, and more than quadruple the 0.8 percent national growth rate in air travel.
Newark Liberty saw a nearly one percent increase in travelers in 2012, while Stewart International Airport posted a 12 percent decline, largely due to the loss of a daily flight to and from Atlanta.
Last year’s totals came despite the effects of Superstorm Sandy and its unprecedented tidal surges, which forced closures of LaGuardia, Newark Liberty and JFK airports and the cancellation of thousands of flights. Round-the-clock efforts by Port Authority aviation staff to remove water and repair damaged equipment led to a quick resumption of normal flight operations at all the airports within days of the storm, lessening the overall impact on fliers.
Additionally, the airline industry posted passenger gains despite a 3.5 percent price increase on domestic fares, following a 6.2 percent hike the prior year.
In 2012, United retained its No. 1 ranking in terms of passenger volume at Port Authority airports, with Delta placing second. JetBlue ranked third and American Airlines fourth, with US Airways rounding out the top five.
Port Authority aviation forecasts anticipate continued passenger growth in 2013, albeit at a lower rate of between 2.2 percent and 2.5 percent – compared with 2012’s 3.3 percent increase.
Passenger growth at the Port Authority airports comes at a time of more than $3 billion in public and private infrastructure investments in recent years. The agency will continue investing in capital projects at all four commercial airports in 2013, while working with air carriers on additional private investment initiatives.
Port Authority projects for 2013 include early work toward building a new Central Terminal Building at LaGuardia and a new Terminal A at Newark Liberty in the coming years. At JFK, Delta will open its $1.2 billion expansion of Terminal 4 this spring, while beginning a $175 million second-phase of that project. JetBlue is spending more than $200 million to create a new international arrivals area at Terminal 5.
At Stewart Airport, the Port Authority Board approved a study for a major rehabilitation of two runways, including new pavement and electrical system upgrades. The total project cost is estimated at $143.5 million.
Last year the Port Authority embarked on enhanced customer service initiatives at LaGuardia, JFK and Newark Liberty to add new customer care agents, introduce avatars to provide recorded airport information to travelers, expand efforts to curtail taxi hustling and install more power poles for electronic devices.
CONTACT: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency’s network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where construction crews are building the iconic One World Trade Center, which is now the tallest skyscraper in New York. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the state of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency relies on revenues generated by facility users, tolls, fees and rents as well as loans, bond financing, and federal grants to fund its operations. For more information, please visit http://www.panynj.gov.