Regional Airport System is the Busiest in the Nation with Nearly 100 Million Passengers
John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International and LaGuardia airports handled nearly 100 million passengers in 2005 according to a preliminary analysis by the Port Authority, setting a new annual record for passenger traffic for the region’s three major airports. The Port Authority’s airports handled more passengers than any other airport system in the nation in 2005.
With final year-end figures expected to be tabulated in several weeks, the initial analysis shows that the Port Authority’s airports once again enjoyed robust growth in passenger traffic, with an increase of about 6 percent over 2004 figures.
Kennedy Airport led the way with nearly 41 million passengers last year, while Newark Airport handled about 33 million passengers and LaGuardia Airport served approximately 26 million passengers.
The Port Authority anticipates continued growth in passenger traffic in 2006, as the agency’s airport analysts project a total of more than 102.5 million passengers this year.
“Our ten-year strategic plan was created in part to address this welcome development of increased passenger traffic at our airports,” Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said. “As we prepare to embark upon a $279 million capital investment program at Newark’s Terminal B, we’re also building a new passenger terminal at JFK, studying the modernization of Terminal A at Newark and the Central Terminal Building at LaGuardia, and investing record amounts of capital funding in security initiatives. These are exciting times at our airports, and the work we have undertaken ensures our facilities will remain powerful economic engines that encourage and sustain regional growth, particularly in the travel and tourism industry.”
Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “These record-setting 2005 passenger totals are the main reason our airports contribute in such a positive way to the regional economy. A recent analysis showed the Port Authority’s airports support nearly 500,000 jobs generating $20 billion in wages, as well as $57 billion in annual economic activity. That’s why we have spearheaded a $14 billion public-private redevelopment program at our airports that has delivered two AirTrain systems, new and refurbished passenger terminals, new parking garages, more-efficient roadway systems, a world-class concessions-and-retail program and much more.”
Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “In addition to handling more passengers than any other airport system in the country, we also offer more nonstop flights to more destinations than any other airport system, and lead the nation as an international passenger and cargo gateway as well. The bar is set high, but as we’ve demonstrated year in and year out, we are more than up to the challenge of being stewards of these critical transportation hubs. We expect more great things in 2006, with an extensive program of redevelopment projects that will enhance and improve our world-class airports.”
Cristyne L. Nicholas, President of NYC & Company, said, “New York tourism is reaching new heights as a key growth industry for our city’s economy. By opening new routes, welcoming new carriers and building new state-of-the-art terminals, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is making crucial investments in both the visitor experience and the future of the city’s travel and tourism industry, which generates $24 billion in economic activity and supports 325,000 jobs in all five boroughs.”
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 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.###
John J. McCarthy