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N.Y.-N.J. Port Authority blasts FAA plan to reduce JFK flights

N.Y.-N.J. Port Authority blasts FAA plan to reduce JFK flights

A proposal to reduce flights at John F. Kennedy Airport to 80-81 per hour is being panned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

   Airlines sometimes schedule as many as 100 flights per hour, though press reports say that figure is never actually achieved.

   The U.S. Department of Transportation released target figures for the number of daily flights that can safely be handled at JFK in advance of a meeting scheduled for later this week in Washington where flight delays at the airport will be discussed.

   “Our strong preference is to develop market-based solutions that will address delays and preserve passenger choice,” said Transportation Secretary Mary Peters. “But we will consider scheduling reductions as a last resort in order to prevent a repeat of this summer’s nightmare delays.”

   Port authority Chairman Anthony Coscia said, “Unfortunately, the FAA’s approach of cutting flights at JFK isn’t a solution. In fact it’s potentially a recipe for worsening the problem by pushing growing passenger demand to other airports. We face a crisis right now and real solutions mean meeting the demands of families and businesses who need to fly, expanding capacity to allow the system to continue to grow, and working to treat all customers better.”

   The port authority said the FAA recommendations are the “equivalent to the cap at JFK in the late 1960s. If this limitation were in place at JFK last year, the airport would have turned away nearly 3.4 million passengers, or 10,000 per day.”

   “Under the restriction, JFK would handle fewer flight operations per day than LaGuardia Airport, despite JFK having about 44,000 total feet of runway space compared to LaGuardia’s 14,000,” said a statement by the port authority, which runs JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark Liberty airports.

   The port authority said its own task force has proposed addressing the delay program through use of new technology, spending $1 billion on capital improvements, and acquisition of the Stewart International Airport, about an hour north of New York.

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