Press Release Article


Date: Apr 01, 2004
Press Release Number: 34-2004

The Board of Commissioners today authorized a series of aeronautical improvements designed to maintain runways, taxiways and related infrastructure at John F. Kennedy International Airport in a state of good repair while also preparing the airport for the next generation of quieter, more-efficient aircraft – the double-deck, 555-seat Airbus 380.

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “Our system of airports is designed to serve the region’s air travelers as efficiently as possible. By making these necessary improvements, we simultaneously maintain JFK’s infrastructure in world-class condition while also meeting our mandate to accommodate passenger growth with larger aircraft instead of adding flights in the region’s skies. The A380 is quieter than today’s largest aircraft, and by encouraging the use of these more-efficient aircraft, we also preserve our mission to be good neighbors to the people who live, work and learn near our airports.”

Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “Making these improvements to JFK is vital if we are to remain economically competitive – locally, nationally and globally. Our airport system supports more than 438,000 jobs in this region, and the economic impact as a result of A380 service in the first full year at JFK is estimated to generate $82 million in economic activity, approximately $32 million in payroll, and roughly 1,040 full-time jobs. Our continuing commitment to making airport improvements and enhancements will encourage and sustain growth as we usher in a new era in efficient aircraft design and air travel.”

Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, “The $9.4 billion public-private redevelopment program at JFK has delivered countless improvements: new and enhanced passenger terminals; more efficient roadways; garages providing more than 5,800 new parking spaces; AirTrain JFK and much more. As the Port Authority enters its second half-century of airport stewardship, it does so with a pledge to provide the region’s travelers with the best facilities possible, setting the standard for excellent customer service while preparing the airport for a long and prosperous future.”

When it opened in 1948, JFK (then New York International Airport) was designed to accommodate Design Group IV aircraft such as the DC-6. Throughout JFK’s storied past, the airport was adapted to handle the latest aircraft as it strengthened its position as one of the world’s premier international gateways.

The project approved today will maintain JFK’s infrastructure in a state of good repair while also addressing challenges similar to those the Port Authority faced in the late 1960s when it was planning for the introduction of the Boeing 747 – the world’s largest commercial aircraft at the time it was introduced.

The infrastructure improvement project, which is estimated to cost about $179 million, also will provide modifications necessary to permit operations by the A380, slated to debut commercial passenger operations in late 2006.

JFK is one of 14 U.S. airports making preparations for the A380. Those preparations include strengthening taxiway bridges and widening runways.

Three airlines currently operating at JFK have placed orders for A380s and have formally expressed their intention to have A380 operations at JFK. Three additional airlines operating at JFK also have A380s on order, but have not yet indicated which markets they plan to serve with the new aircraft.

As a result of modern engine, wing and undercarriage design and technology, the A380 will be quieter than today’s largest airliner. The economic fuel consumption of the A380 – about 13 per cent lower than its closest competitor – also will help reduce emissions.

Airbus Industries is completing orders for more than 125 A380s. The A380, whose 262-foot wingspan is 50 feet wider than the Boeing 747, will be able to travel 8,000 nautical miles at a maximum takeoff weight of nearly 1.25 million pounds, 180 tons more than the B747.

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