Press Release Article


Date: Nov 18, 2019
Press Release Number: 190-2019

New lights, signs, cables and navigational aids installed, with new high-speed taxiway enabling faster runway exits to save travelers valuable time

New runway is 33% wider to accommodate largest aircraft

Use of concrete should extend runway life up to 40 years, nearly four times longer than the previous asphalt paving

The Port Authority reopened runway 13L-31R at John F. Kennedy International Airport today following an accelerated, seven-month complete runway replacement that included the addition of a new high-speed taxiway, part of a package of state-of-good-repair and system-enhancing measures to improve operations at the airport.

“We are pleased to complete this project on time and within budget, and we appreciate the cooperation and collaboration from the FAA, our airline partners, terminal operators and surrounding communities,” said Port Authority Aviation Director Huntley A. Lawrence. “Reopening this newer, wider, and more resilient runway will improve traffic flow and enable JFK to better serve the 62 million travelers who pass through the airport each year”

The 10,000-foot-long runway, which handles nearly half of JFK’s arriving planes, was entirely rebuilt and widened by 50 feet to accommodate the world’s largest aircraft. This project was completed with a specialized concrete for long-term durability that will minimize future operational impacts and meet current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) design standards. The concrete application has a 40-year lifespan, four times longer than the previous asphalt paving.

The rehabilitation project also called for the replacement of obsolete electrical systems with new state-of-the-art infrastructure, including energy efficient and long-lasting LED lights.

The new runway and high-speed taxiway also will improve operational efficiency and reduce runway occupancy time per arrival. Time-savings are cumulative and are estimated to save passengers approximately 1,000 hours annually in delays and taxiing time, for a combined savings to airlines and passengers of about $9 million.

The project is the result of a successful collaboration among the Port Authority, the FAA, and the airlines in planning for and completing the project with minimal impact on the flying public.

The runway project is part of a comprehensive Port Authority program of airport infrastructure improvements focused on enhanced safety and reduced flight delays. In addition to JFK, high-speed taxiways at Newark Liberty International Airport are being planned, as is the expansion of the aeronautical operations areas.

The 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 the 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade Center is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. 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 raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, please visit

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