Nearly 94 Million Passengers Used John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International and LaGuardia Airports in 2004, Exceeding Pre-9/11 Annual Total
Air passenger traffic set a new record of 93,861,671 travelers at John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International and LaGuardia airports in 2004, an increase of more than 12 percent over the 2003 total.
Renewed air traveler confidence, extensive public and private investments, strong demand and low airfares helped the Port Authority – operator of the nation’s largest airport system – to reach the new record a year earlier than originally anticipated. The previous annual record of 92,419,554 passengers was set in 2000. Passenger traffic fell sharply following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
In 2004, 37.5 million passengers passed through Kennedy Airport, representing an 18 percent increase over 2003 and making it the fastest-growing airport in the region and one of the fastest-growing airports in the nation. Newark Airport saw an 8.3 percent increase, with 31.9 million passengers in 2004. LaGuardia Airport had 24.4 million passengers in 2004, an increase of 8.7 percent.
The 12.2-percent increase in passengers at JFK, Newark and LaGuardia was nearly two times the average rate of other major airports in the United States. Domestic passenger levels in 2004 were 3.1-percent higher than pre-9/11 levels. International traffic, which increased 15 percent in 2004, is expected to exceed pre-9/11 levels in 2005.
New York Governor George E. Pataki said, “In addition to being important components of our regional transportation network, our airports also are essential elements of our regional economy. JFK and LaGuardia airports, together with Newark Airport, generate an astounding $62 billion in annual economic activity, supporting more than 375,000 jobs. That translates into strong tourism and air cargo industries, which play a vital role in our economy. Thanks to the Port Authority’s efforts, we can expect continued growth and economic health at our world-class airports.”
Acting New Jersey Governor Richard J. Codey said, “Newark Liberty International Airport is one of New Jersey’s most important transportation facilities, handling 31.9 million passengers in 2004. It’s also one of our state’s greatest economic engines, generating 110,000 jobs and more than $18 billion a year in economic activity. And the airport has firmly established itself on the world stage, increasing its international traffic by 15 percent last year, in large part by serving 27 international destinations with nonstop service, attracting new businesses and travelers to New Jersey.”
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “The Port Authority is working aggressively to deliver the best in safety, security and service for our customers. In December, our Board approved nearly $280 million to modernize Terminal B and related facilities at Newark Liberty International Airport. Just last week, we authorized a host of security enhancements, along with approved funding to study and develop plans to meet projected traffic growth. These programs will keep our passenger terminals in a state of good repair and accommodate growth for years to come, while ensuring our facilities are at the head of the class in safety and security.”
Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “Our $15 billion public-private airport redevelopment program has brought a vast array of improvements and upgrades for our nearly 94 million customers. In the last several years, we have unveiled new and enhanced passenger terminals, more efficient roadways, improved taxiways and runways, new parking garages, two AirTrain rail systems and much more. And as we enter our second half-century of airport stewardship, our work continues in force, including the implementation of a host of safety and security measures.”
Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “We’re the world’s largest origin-and-destination market, with one in four of our nation’s international travelers and six percent of all domestic travelers relying on our airports as their gateway. It’s an enormous responsibility, but one that we gladly welcome. We remain firmly committed to providing our customers with the best facilities possible as we set the standard for excellent safety, security and customer service, while preparing our airports for decades of future prosperity.”
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 and Bus Station; 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 Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the New York Container 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.