Press Release Article


Date: Feb 24, 2005
Press Release Number: 14-2005

In another step to upgrade its airports, the Port Authority today approved the hiring of aviation consulting firms to study and plan the modernization and improvement of 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 and accommodate security upgrades. LaGuardia Airport 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 International Airport is projected to reach 45 million passengers sometime 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 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.”

Acting New Jersey Governor Richard J. Codey 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 accommodate projected passenger traffic growth and keep our state’s economy strong by continuing to attract new businesses and travelers to New Jersey.”

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “Growth in the number of passengers for the next decade is expected to average more than three percent annually, which makes it imperative that we plan carefully for the facilities that will accommodate them with a higher level of customer service. Among the many recent things we have delivered to our customers are two new parking garages, AirTrain Newark, three enhanced and expanded terminals, new cargo facilities, roadway improvements that create better access for vehicles, and runway improvements that increase efficiency for aircraft.”

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 facilities 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 Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. 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 with our airline partners, local communities and regulatory agencies in order to remain competitive.”

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

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, passenger traffic has rebounded and is expected to grow.

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. Passenger traffic at LaGuardia is expected to increase to 30 million by 2020.

This past December, the Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners approved nearly $280 million to modernize Terminal B and related facilities at Newark Liberty International Airport in an effort to enable the airport to accommodate a projected increase in air passengers within the next 15 years.

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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