Six-Month Total Exceeds 50 Million Air Travelers for First Time in Airports’ History
John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International and LaGuardia airports, which handle more passengers than any other airport system in North America, are enjoying another record-setting year, combining to serve more than 50.6 million passengers through the first six months of 2006.
Newark Airport led the way this year with double-digit passenger growth. From January 1 through June 30, 2006, the airport served nearly 17.7 million passengers – a 12.3 percent increase over the same period in 2005. For the first half of the year, Kennedy Airport handled more than 20 million passengers, and LaGuardia served nearly 13 million. Overall, passenger traffic for the region through the first six months of 2006 is up 4.5 percent versus the same period in 2005. Last year, the three airports handled a record total of 99,800,705 passengers; about 103.5 million are projected for the full year in 2006.
“Newark Liberty International Airport is on pace to surpass its pre-9/11 air passenger levels this year, having already exceeded 35 million passengers for the 12-month period that ended June 30, 2006 – a first in Newark Airport’s history,” Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said. “Increased air passenger traffic is a strong economic stimulus, so it’s more important than ever for us to continue focusing resources on our airports to ensure they remain vibrant, world-class facilities that provide the traveling public with the best in service, safety and security.”
Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “Our airports play a number of vital roles. For air travelers, they provide a wealth of choices and flexibility, as we offer more flights aboard more airlines to more nonstop destinations than any other airport system in the world. For the businesses in the region, our airports are unrivaled economic engines, supporting nearly 500,000 jobs that generate $20 billion in wages, as well as $57 billion in annual economic activity. And for the travel and tourism industry, the airports bring the world to our doorstep.”
Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “As an offshoot of the growth in passenger traffic, we’re especially pleased to see record ridership on our AirTrain mass-transit rail systems at Kennedy and Newark airports. Paid ridership on AirTrain JFK for the first six months of the year was up nearly 14 percent over the same period in 2005, with more than 1.8 million riders. AirTrain Newark’s paid ridership is up 9 percent for the first half of the year, with more than 725,000 riders. This is in addition to the tens of thousands of daily riders who use the AirTrains free of charge to travel between parking lots, rental car areas and passenger terminals, which helps reduce congestion in and around the airports while providing a convenient and reliable means of ground transportation for our customers and employees.”
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 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.