Date: Mar 04, 2001
Press Release Number: 25-2001
With a major winter storm poised to strike the New York-New Jersey area beginning Sunday afternoon, the Port Authority is fully prepared to battle the elements at its airports, bridges, tunnels, and PATH system. Hundreds of operations staff are mobilized and will work round the clock in 12-hour shifts. The airports are ready with an arsenal of more than 150 pieces of high-tech snow removal equipment and thousands of tons of salt, sand and de-icing chemicals. Similarly, batteries of snow plows and de-icing materials are at the ready at the tunnels and bridges.
Major airlines have begun announcing numerous cancellations because of severe weather expected in the NY/NJ region as well as other major cities throughout the Northeast. The number of cancellations is expected to increase sharply this evening and through Monday.
\"No one should even consider going to the airport without first calling their airline to check on the status of a particular flight,\" said Port Authority Executive Director Robert E. Boyle. \"The Port Authority is prepared to do everything that is necessary to keep our airports open, consistent with safe operations. Likewise, we have all the personnel and equipment we need to keep traffic flowing on our tunnels and bridges, and to keep our PATH system in operation. Our aim is simple: to minimize any inconvenience to our customers caused by this winter weather while keeping safety concerns paramount.\"
Port Authority operations staff at Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark airports are providing stocks of pillows and blankets to the airlines to be ready to assist any passengers who may need to spend the night due to cancelled flights. The agency is also asking all airport concessions to remain open for the duration of the storm to provide services for delayed passengers.
The Port Authority\'s winter weather arsenal features:
-- More than 150 pieces of heavy snow equipment at the airports, including blowers that can move 3,000 tons of snow an hour, melters that can liquefy up to 500 tons an hour, and plows that can clear snow at 40 miles per hour.
-- 63 pieces of snow equipment at the bridges and tunnels, including 16 trucks equipped with plows and spreaders at the George Washington Bridge, the world\'s busiest bridge.
-- 1,800 tons of salt and 2,000 tons of sand for airport roads and parking lots - plus another 1,500 tons of salt for the Port Authority\'s bridges and tunnels.
-- More than 170,000 gallons of liquid anti-icer chemicals at the airports, which prevent snow and ice from bonding to runways and taxiways, plus 230 tons of solid deicers, which break up ice and snow already on the ground.
The airports, bridges and PATH have \"snow desks\" where key personnel analyze weather reports and deploy staff and equipment. The number of employees deployed during a storm depends on its severity: in the case of a major snowstorm, every facility employee is on call and work around the clock in 12-hour shifts.
Employees at the three airports are available to rescue motorists whose cars won\'t start or are snowed in. At LaGuardia, call 718-533-3700 or 718-533-3850; at Newark, 973-961-4755; at JFK, 718-656-1272.
A list of snow equipment and supplies at Port Authority facilities follows:
LaGUARDIA AIRPORT (25 miles of runways, taxiways, public roads and service roads) -- 500 tons of sand; 500 tons of salt; 18,000 gallons of liquid anti-icers; 150 tons solid deicers and 25 pieces of snow removal equipment (6 high-speed plows with spreaders, 6 snow blowers, 6 snow sweepers, 5 salt and sand spreaders, 2 liquid chemical spreaders)
JOHN F. KENNEDY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (78 miles of runways, taxiways, public roads and service roads) -- 1,000 tons of sand; 800 tons of salt; 105,000 gallons of liquid anti-icers; 60 tons of solid deicers and 79 pieces of snow removal equipment (29 heavy dump trucks, 17 snow blowers, 14 snow sweepers, 14 salt and sand spreaders, 5 liquid chemical spreaders)
NEWARK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (35 miles of runways, taxiways, public roads and service roads) -- 500 tons of sand; 500 tons of salt; 50,000 gallons of liquid anti-icers; 20 tons of solid deicers and 50 pieces of snow removal equipment (8 runway plows and sanders, 9 snow blowers, 8 snow sweepers, 6 salt and sand spreaders, 3 liquid chemical spreaders, 2 large road plows, 2 pickup trucks with plows attached, 2 parking lot salt spreaders, 2 front-end loaders, 8 heavy trucks)
TUNNELS, BRIDGES AND TERMINALS (142 total lane miles of bridges, tunnels, roadways and sidewalks) -- 1,500 tons of salt; 100 tons of sand; 715 gallons of liquid anti-icers and deicers; and 63 pieces of snow-removal equipment (16 trucks with plows and spreaders at the George Washington Bridge, 19 trucks with plows and spreaders at the Staten Island bridges, 13 trucks with plows and spreaders at the Lincoln Tunnel, 15 trucks with plows and spreaders at the Holland Tunnel)