Press Release Article


Date: Mar 19, 2007
Press Release Number: 20-2007

Port Authority Invested $179 Million to Prepare Airport to Handle New Large Aircraft

Aviation history was made at John F. Kennedy International Airport today when the world’s largest passenger plane – the Airbus A380, carrying more than 500 passengers – touched down on U.S. soil for the first time as part of a route-proving test by Lufthansa and Airbus.

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia, Executive Director Anthony E. Shorris and officials from Lufthansa and Airbus greeted the aircraft, which boasts a 262-foot wingspan and weighs about 1.25 million pounds fully loaded.

The arrival of the A380 marks the start of a new era in the aviation industry as this aircraft and others like it will help move millions of air passengers more efficiently around the globe.

In the first full year of A380 service at JFK, the aircraft’s operations are estimated to generate $82 million in economic activity, approximately $32 million in payroll, and roughly 1,040 full-time jobs.

Mr. Coscia said, “As our region’s airports continue to grow in annual passengers, the Port Authority is investing funds today and earmarking resources for the future to ensure we remain competitive in the global marketplace. In addition to the billions of dollars we have spent over the last decade spearheading a public-private redevelopment program at our airports, our 10-year capital plan has identified about $4 billion in aviation-related investments through 2016. And the arrival of the A380 signals yet another example of how our investments ultimately benefit the people who matter most: our customers.”

Mr. Shorris said, “We’re very pleased to host the U.S. debut of the A380. It’s fitting that the A380 should come to Kennedy Airport, which has been our country’s premier international gateway for more than half a century and now is clearly positioned to lead us far into the future as well. We’ve put $179 million into JFK to prepare for the A380 and other new large aircraft, and now we expect our investment to pay dividends for our passengers, and for the region in jobs, economic growth, and quieter, cleaner skies.”

Port Authority forecasts call for A380 service to build gradually as more airlines introduce the new aircraft into their fleets. By 2015, the aircraft’s operations will create the capacity to carry about 2.5 million passengers per year to and from our region, along with thousands of tons of cargo. The additional capacity afforded by new large aircraft such as the A380 will help the Port Authority meet growing demand at its airports with the added benefit of helping to reduce congestion. In 2002, Kennedy, Newark and LaGuardia airports handled a combined 81.1 million passengers. In 2006, the total increased by more than 25 percent, to 104.1 million passengers.

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.

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