Press Release Article


Date: May 20, 2004
Press Release Number: 68-2004

The Port Authority Board of Commissioners today authorized planning studies to modernize and expand the Central Terminal Building at LaGuardia Airport and Terminal A at Newark Liberty International Airport.

The studies will help the Port Authority develop plans to meet projected growth in the number of passengers. LaGuardia is expected to handle more than 30 million passengers a year sometime between 2015 and 2020, up from 22.5 million in 2003, while Newark Liberty is projected to reach 45 million annual passengers between 2015 and 2020, up from 29.4 million in 2003.

New York Governor George E. Pataki said, “From its humble beginnings as a small airfield in 1929, LaGuardia Airport has grown to become one of the most important aviation facilities in the nation. By making strategic plans for our future, we restate our commitment to continue providing passengers a superior level of service while decreasing noise and air pollution in New York by accommodating quieter and more fuel-efficient aircraft, which is good news for us all.”

New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey said, “Our robust state economy relies on a number of factors, and few are as important as our ability to keep commerce and people moving efficiently through this region. Thoughtful planning today will lead to great improvements tomorrow at Newark Liberty International Airport’s Terminal A, enabling us to meet projected passenger growth in an orderly manner, and keep our state’s economy strong by attracting new businesses and travelers to New Jersey.”

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “In 2004, our airports are expected to handle 88.4 million passengers, representing an increase of nearly 6 percent over 2003 – and that’s just the beginning. Passenger growth for the next decade is expected to average more than 3 percent annually, which makes it imperative that we plan carefully for the facilities that will accommodate the increased numbers of passengers.”

Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “Travelers ultimately will enjoy tremendous advantages from our proposed improvements – new state-of-the-art concourses at LaGuardia, additional gates at Newark’s Terminal A, and new parking garages at both airports. And the region will benefit as well, because we anticipate that the various components of the improvement programs will create thousands of construction jobs, thousands of permanent jobs, and nearly $800 million in annual economic activity.”

Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, “Over the last decade, an extensive $15 billion redevelopment program at our airports has delivered a host of improvements and enhancements – more efficient roadways, new parking garages, and AirTrain systems at Newark and JFK. But our work is never done, and if we are to remain one of the premier economic engines in this region, we must continue to plan improvements such as these and work together with our airline partners, local communities and regulatory agencies in order to remain competitive.”

When Newark Liberty International Airport’s Terminal A was dedicated more than 30 years ago, fewer than 7 million passengers used the airport. Although traffic dropped after September 11, 2001, current forecasts project passenger traffic at Newark to increase 5 percent in 2004, to 30.9 million.

When LaGuardia Airport’s Central Terminal Building opened in 1964, 3.7 million passengers used the airport. At its peak in 2000, the passenger total reached 25.4 million. Current forecasts project passenger traffic at LaGuardia to increase more than 3 percent this year, to 23.2 million.

The planning studies – estimated to cost $20 million at Newark and $15 million at LaGuardia – are expected to be completed by 2007.

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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