Press Release Article


Date: May 19, 2003
Press Release Number: 66-2003

Heavy Traffic Expected at Airports; Travelers Encouraged to Use Mass Transit

The Port Authority is gearing up for the unofficial start of the summer season on Memorial Day weekend, and the agency is prepared to handle millions of travelers at its three major airports, the tunnels and bridges, the Port Authority’s bus terminals and the PATH system.

Air Travel and Parking Information

Although air travel for the 2003 Memorial Day weekend is projected to be down slightly compared to last year, more than 1 million passengers are still expected to travel to and from the region by air this weekend.

Airport parking lots may fill up quickly during the busy weekend, and travelers are encouraged to use mass transit whenever possible to get to and from the airports.

At John F. Kennedy International Airport, passengers and people meeting flights at Terminals 8 and 9 should anticipate road congestion and possible parking shortages due to terminal construction. Please allow additional time to arrive at terminals and consider alternate parking in the long-term lot. For Kennedy Airport parking information, call 718 244-4444 or tune radios to 1630 AM when approaching the airport.

Passengers using Newark Liberty International Airport also should consider using AirTrain Newark. For information about AirTrain Newark and other transportation options to the region’s three major airports, call 800 AIR-RIDE. For Newark Airport parking information, call 1 888 EWR-INFO and select 22, or tune radios to 530 AM when approaching the airport. For LaGuardia Airport parking information, call 718 533-3400.

Information is also available online for all airports at, and

\"Air travel at our three major airports remains steady from last year, so we anticipate a busy travel weekend,\" said Ernesto L. Butcher, the Port Authority’s Chief Operating Officer. \"In addition, we expect to see more travelers using Port Authority tunnels and bridges to get to their destinations. As always, our goal is to provide both air and auto travelers with a safe and enjoyable travel experience.

\"We continue to advise air travelers to check with their carrier before leaving home, and to get the most up-to-date flight and parking information,\" Mr. Butcher said. \"They should also allow themselves additional check-in time as we continue to maintain a heightened level of security at all of our airports. Auto travelers should also be prepared for possible delays.\"

During the five-day holiday travel period – Friday, May 23, through Tuesday May 27 – the Port Authority forecasts approximately 404,000 passengers at Newark Liberty International Airport, 370,000 passengers at John F. Kennedy International Airport and 298,000 passengers at LaGuardia Airport. This compares to last year’s passenger volumes of 409,000 at Newark Liberty International, 389,000 at JFK and 299,000 at LaGuardia.

Air travelers are advised to check with their airline prior to leaving for the airport, and to arrive 30 minutes earlier than recommended by the airline.

Tunnels, Bridges and Bus Terminals

Approximately 3.4 million vehicles are projected to use the Port Authority\'s bridges and tunnels during the five day holiday period. Travelers are urged to use mass transit and travel during off-peak hours whenever possible. Traffic advisories are available online at Travelers using the Port Authority Bus Terminal and the George Washington Bridge Bus Station should give themselves extra time, as lines may be longer than normal due to higher passenger volumes. For more information, call 800 221-9903.

PATH Schedules and Information

PATH will operate extra trains as needed for commuters leaving early on Friday, May 23. On Memorial Day, PATH trains will operate on a weekend schedule. For additional information, call 800 234 PATH or visit

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates some of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; the George Washington Bridge; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH rapid-transit system; the 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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