Press Release Article


Date: Nov 22, 2002
Press Release Number: 124-2002

1.14 Million Passengers Expected at Area Airports Over Five-Day Travel Period, as Airline Industry Continues to Recover

Construction at Bridges and Tunnels and Single-Occupant Vehicle Ban at Holland Tunnel to be Suspended

With forecasts calling for a 25.7 percent increase in air passenger volumes over last November’s unusually low levels, the Port Authority is prepared to handle high numbers of travelers this Thanksgiving holiday weekend at the bistate agency’s three major airports, John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International and LaGuardia airports. The agency is also gearing up for heavy passenger volumes at its bridges and tunnels, bus terminals, and PATH rapid transit system.

Approximately 1,140,000 holiday travelers are expected to use the three airports during the five-day Thanksgiving weekend starting Wednesday, November 27, and lasting through Sunday, December 1. Last year’s total for the three airports was 907,000.

“Our air passenger forecasts reflect the continuing steady recovery in the nation’s airline industry, following the events of September 2001,” said Edmond F. Schorno, Chief of Staff for the Port Authority. “The five-day Thanksgiving holiday period is traditionally the busiest travel time of the year, and the Wednesday before the holiday is usually the year’s busiest travel day.

“The Port Authority is taking steps to ensure that our customers, at the airports and other facilities, have a safe and pleasant trip to their destinations. Security will be extremely tight this holiday weekend at all our transportation facilities,” Mr. Schorno said. “We strongly recommend that all air travelers allow extra time – at least one hour more than usual – to accommodate heightened security procedures. Also, customers need to remember that vehicles can not be left unattended at terminal curb frontages, and that any such vehicles will be subject to immediate towing.

“As always,” Mr. Schorno added, “it is a good idea for airport customers to check with their airlines prior to leaving for the airport.” Travelers can visit the Port Authority’s Web site at to get travel tips, directions, maps, and airline contact information. The federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Web site,, offers detailed, up-to-date advice on security procedures.

Although 3,500 additional parking spaces have been added during the past year at Newark Liberty International Airport, lots may fill early. “That’s why we encourage people to join the growing numbers of travelers who are trying the new AirTrain Newark to get to and from the airport,” said Mr. Schorno.

For information about AirTrain Newark and other transportation options for the region’s three major airports, travelers may call 1 800 AIRRIDE.

During the five-day holiday period, the Port Authority forecasts about 400,000 customers will use JFK. Approximately 420,000 will use Newark Liberty, and 320,000 will use LaGuardia. The expected numbers represent a strong recovery from the depressed levels of Thanksgiving 2001. That holiday period saw 291,000 customers use JFK. At Newark Liberty the number was 350,000, and at LaGuardia, 266,000.

For Newark Airport parking information, call 1 888 EWR-INFO and press 22, or tune radios to 530 AM when approaching the airport. For Kennedy Airport parking information, call 718 244-4444, or tune radios to 1630 AM. For LaGuardia parking information, call 718 533-3400. Information is also available online at,, and

Approximately 4.1 million vehicles are expected to use the Port Authority\'s four bridges and two tunnels during the six-day holiday period from Wednesday, November 27, through Monday, December 2, which is slightly higher than the same holiday period in 2001. To help keep that high volume moving, the Port Authority will suspend construction at its bridge and tunnel crossings for the duration of the holiday travel period. Also, single-occupant vehicle restrictions at the Holland Tunnel will be suspended on Thanksgiving Day and on Friday, November 29, 2002.

PATH will operate additional trains as needed during the afternoon and evening of Wednesday, November 27, to accommodate early holiday travel. A holiday/weekend schedule will be in effect on Thanksgiving Day, with trains running every 15 minutes between 9 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. on the Newark-Hoboken, Journal Square-33rd Street, and Hoboken-33rd Street lines. Additional trains will be added as needed to accommodate passengers traveling to and from the Thanksgiving Day Parade in Manhattan.

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