Group Represents Extensive Network of Stakeholders
A broad coalition of organizations representing airlines, passenger advocates, business and tourism groups today joined The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in opposing the Federal Aviation Administration’s planned flight caps at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
The FAA’s plans to simply cut flights to pre-1969 levels and limit travelers’ options would turn away nearly 3.4 million passengers from JFK each year.
On Wednesday, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine sent a joint letter to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters opposing the imposition of flight caps at JFK. The governors stated, "We must act now to reduce delays. However, the solution on which the FAA is currently focused – a cap on the number of flights at JFK – is, in truth, no solution at all." For the full text of the governors’ letter, go to:
The groups opposing the FAA’s plan include:
- The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
- Air Transport Association
- Air Travelers Association
- Business Travel Coalition
- Partnership for NYC
- Business Council of New York State, Inc.
- American Express
- Association of Minority Enterprises of New York
- Aviation Development Council
- New York City Business Travel Association
- League of American Theatres & Producers
- Coach USA
- Council for Airport Opportunity
- Hotel Association of New York City, Inc.
- New York Building Congress
- New York State Restaurant Association
"We have brought together a comprehensive group, representing every facet of air travel, and the consensus is clear; the FAA’s solution would literally turn back the clock at JFK, delivering a crippling blow to passengers, the aviation industry, and the economy," said Port Authority Executive Director Anthony E. Shorris. "The FAA is standing alone in supporting its position."
Earlier this week, the Port Authority released a list of concrete recommendations to increase capacity at the metropolitan-area airports to meet current and future passenger demand, and reduce delays.
"We are pleased to team up with the Port Authority and other partners to find practical, near-term solutions to reduce flight delays and congestion in the New York area," said James C. May, President and CEO of the Air Transport Association. "New York is the leading international gateway and we cannot allow our government to curtail New York’s economic prosperity by reducing access to JFK, which will raise fares and eliminate customer choice."
"Airline passengers are not interested in trading delayed flights for no flights or very expensive flights," said David Stempler, President of the Air Travelers Association. "The FAA’s proposed plan for JFK Airport is just like telling 10,000 airline passengers per day to get lost! If the FAA's plan goes through, the FAA will only succeed in pushing the JFK congestion problem to LaGuardia and Newark airports, or drive air fares so high that only business people or the rich and famous will be able to afford to use JFK!"
"Arbitrary reduction in flights at JFK would be a direct blow to New York’s competitive position in the world economy, cutting off international business activity, as well as tourism. New York’s pre-eminence as the center of global finance is already being challenged by other cities, and what the FAA should be doing is to upgrade the technology at our major international airport, not cut off access to the city," said Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO of the Partnership for New York City, the city’s leading business organization.
The FAA has proposed a cut in the maximum number of flights at the airport to 80 an hour – equivalent to the cap at JFK in the late 1960s. Under the restriction, JFK would handle fewer flight operations per day than LaGuardia Airport, despite JFK having approximately 44,000 total feet of runway space compared to LaGuardia’s 14,000.
The Port Authority made 17 delay-reduction recommendations to the FAA that the agency and 14 of the largest carriers at the airports agreed would be effective and could be implemented quickly. The highlights include:
- Installing components of new radar technologies now, rather than waiting for the five years it is expected to take for full implementation;
- Installing advanced ground surveillance systems to better manage aircraft on the ground;
- Adding a westbound departure route to the existing airspace to alleviate air traffic on one of the most congested routes in the metropolitan area;
- Adding taxiways to handle more aircraft, a measure to which the PA already has committed. This would allow the airports to handle more aircraft simultaneously and reduce wait times; and
- Improving surveillance and navigation systems to reduce spacing between aircraft in flight, allowing simultaneous arrivals and departures from all four airports in poor weather conditions. Weather accounts for 62.3 percent of the delay minutes in the metropolitan area.
Further details of the Port Authority’s recommendations can be found at: http://www.panynj.gov/AboutthePortAuthority/PressCenter/PressReleases/PressRelease/index.php?id=991