Aviation in the New York metropolitan area

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An Air India 747 arrives at JFK, with El Al Israel and Swiss International jets at Terminal 4. JFK is the largest entry point for international arrivals to the United States.

The New York metropolitan area has the busiest airport system in the United States. It is also the most frequently used port of entry and departure for international flights. In 2011 more than 104 million passengers used the airports under the auspices of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ).[1][2]

The metro area is served by three major airports, John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and La Guardia Airport (LGA), which have been operated by PANYNJ since 1947.[3] The International Air Transport Association airport code (IATA code) "NYC" is reserved to refer to these three airports. JFK and Newark are connected to regional rail systems by AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark respectively.

The class B airspace used by the three airports is extremely congested. Despite caps placed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) limiting the number of flights per hour, they rank among the top five in the USA for delays. In 2012 travel guide Frommer's rated three terminals in the region as the worst in the world: JFK Terminal 3, Newark Terminal B, and LGA's US Airways terminal. It rated Terminal 5 at JFK the best in the US.[4][5]

In addition to JFK, EWR, and LGA, there are satellite or reliever airports in the metro area which provide additional commercial air carrier service, albeit on a much smaller scale,[6] as well as numerous general aviation airports, heliports, and seaplane bases.

Airspace[edit]

The New York Air Route Traffic Control Center (ZNY) is the busiest of 22 Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCC) in the United States. It responsible for traffic for the Class B airspace in the entire New York Metropolitan Area and Delaware Valley as well as 3,250,000 square miles (8,400,000 km2) of oceanic airspace.[7]

Regulations are in effect in the airspace where flight is permitted under visual flight rules (VFR), the East River VFR corridor and the Hudson River VFR corridor. The southern end of both begins at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. The corridor along the Hudson River allows VFR flight along the entire length between Manhattan and the New Jersey Hudson Waterfront north to the Alpine Tower, while that along the East River ends southwest of LGA airspace at the northern end of Roosevelt Island.[8][9]

As of 2014, about 1% of flights to the Port Authority-controlled airports use the Next Generation Air Transportation System, which relies on the Global Positioning System instead of radar.[10]

John F. Kennedy International Airport[edit]

Location of the three largest airports in the area:
1) John F. Kennedy
2) LaGuardia
3) Newark Liberty

John F. Kennedy International Airport, or JFK, is the major entry point for international arrivals in the United States and is the largest international air freight gateway in the nation by value of shipments.[11] Sections of the airport have been a foreign trade zone since 1984.[12][13] About 100 airlines from more than 50 countries operate direct flights to JFK. The JFK-London Heathrow route is the leading U.S. international airport pair with over 2.9 million passengers in 2000.[14] Other top international destinations from JFK are Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Paris, Incheon International Airport in Seoul, Barajas International Airport in Madrid, Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Cibao International Airport in Santiago de los Caballeros, Las Américas International Airport in Santo Domingo, Frankfurt International Airport in Frankfurt, Narita International Airport in Tokyo and Guarulhos International Airport in Sao Paulo.[14] The airport is located along Jamaica Bay near Howard Beach, Queens.

Newark Liberty International Airport[edit]

Opened in 1928, Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) is considered the first major commercial airport in North America. Amelia Earhart dedicated the Newark Metropolitan Airport Administration Building in 1935. It is fifth busiest international air gateway.[15] and the busiest in the region in number of flights. In 2003, Newark became the terminus of the world's longest non-stop scheduled airline route, Continental's service to Hong Kong. In 2004, Singapore Airlines broke Continental's record by starting direct 18-hour flights to Singapore. The airport is located in Newark, New Jersey, about 12 miles (19 km) west of downtown Manhattan. The top 3 international destinations from Newark are London, Tel Aviv and Frankfurt.[citation needed]

LaGuardia Airport[edit]

LaGuardia Airport (LGA), the smallest of New York area's primary airports, handles domestic flights. It is named for Fiorello H. LaGuardia, the city's Depression-era mayor known as a reformist and strong supporter of the New Deal. A perimeter rule prohibits incoming and outgoing flights that exceed 1,500 miles (2,400 km) except on Saturdays, when the ban is lifted, and to Denver, Colorado, which has a grandfathered exemption. As a result, most transcontinental and international flights use JFK and Newark.[16] The airport is located in northern Queens about 6 miles (9.7 km) from downtown Manhattan.

Other commercial airports[edit]

Long Island MacArthur Airport[edit]

Long Island MacArthur Airport (ISP) is located in the town of Islip in Suffolk County, New York, about 44 miles (71 km) east of Manhattan. It is owned by the Town of Islip, and has been designated by the FAA an official New York airport.[17]

Stewart International Airport[edit]

Stewart International Airport (SWF) is located about 60 miles (97 km) northwest of the city in Orange County, New York. In 2007, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey took control of operations at Stewart and has committed $500 million to its upgrade and expansion.[18]

Trenton-Mercer Airport[edit]

Trenton-Mercer Airport (TTN) is located in Mercer County, New Jersey, near Trenton. It began to see a return of scheduled passenger service in 2013, which has been inconsistent over the airport's history.

Westchester County Airport[edit]

Westchester County Airport (HPN) is located in Westchester County, New York, about 33 miles (53 km) north of the city, along the border with Connecticut. It sees service to a dozen destinations, and has seen increases of nearly 100,000 enplanments in the period from 2008 to 2010.[19][20]

General aviation airports[edit]

Teterboro Airport[edit]

Teterboro Airport (TEB) is a general aviation reliever airport located in the Boroughs of Teterboro, Moonachie, and Hasbrouck Heights in Bergen County, New Jersey. It is operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The airport is 12 miles (19 km) from midtown Manhattan in the New Jersey Meadowlands, which makes it very popular for private and corporate aircraft.

Additional general aviation airports[edit]

In addition, there are many smaller general aviation airports, as well as several seaplane bases in the port district and the adjoining region. Among them are:

Heliports[edit]

There are numerous heliports located around the New York metro area.[21] Three of the busiest are located in Manhattan:

  • Downtown Manhattan Heliport, located at the eastern end of Wall Street on Pier 6, on the East River, was the first heliport in the United States to be certified for scheduled passenger helicopter service by the FAA. The heliport was the normal landing spot for US Presidents visiting New York. The soundproof terminal contains gift shops, administrative offices, a VIP lounge and general passenger waiting area, as well as X-ray and bomb-detection machines at a security checkpoint.
  • East 34th Street Heliport, which consists of a terminal building and fuel filling station and averages 20,000 take-offs and landings each year.
  • West 30th Street Heliport opened on September 26, 1956. In December of that year, New York Airways began scheduled passenger flights, the first airline flights to Manhattan.[22]

Capacity and delays[edit]

An average of 40% of passenger aircraft delays in the U.S. originated in the New York metropolitan area, some in the area and others due to cascading effects.[23] One-third of aircraft in the national airspace system move through the New York area at some point during a typical day.[24] The three major airports rank among the worst airports for delays the USA despite FAA caps limiting the number of takeoffs and landings per hour to 83 at both JFK and EWR and 71 at LGA.[25] While an increased demand for passengers and freight is foreseen limited land availability in the heavily urbanized area and prohibitive costs constrict expansion of JFK, EWR, and LGA. Approaches to mitigate delays and increase capacity include costly runway expansion projects and greater use of reliever airports. Before the establishment of the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in 1960 the PANYNJ had proposed to build an airport at the location in Morris County, New Jersey but was widely opposed. Studies conducted by the Federal Aviation Authority, the Regional Plan Association, the PANYNJ, and others have identified few sites within the region which would satisfy the requirements for a major airport and evaluated potential dispersion of flights to outlying commercial airports, including Atlantic City International Airport (ACY), Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE), Bradley International Airport (BDL), and Tweed New Haven Regional Airport (HVN).[26][27][28] In July 2013, the PANYNJ took control of ACY.[29]

Defunct airports in NYC[edit]

The first municipal airport in New York City was Floyd Bennett Field, developed to lure business away from Newark. It is now an historic, recreational, and sporting area and part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, which is in turn part of the National Park System (NPS). The New York City Police Department leases facilities for their helicopter operations from the NPS there. Flushing Airport was another early airport in New York City. It opened in 1927 and was the busiest airport in New York for a time. A decade later it was overshadowed by the larger LaGuardia Airport, which is located only a mile away. The airport was decommissioned in 1984 after a fatal accident in 1977. Now the area is a piece of wetland owned by the New York City Economic Development Corporation.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Non Stop Service (Report). PANYNJ. 2011. http://public.aci-na.org/commcontest/sites/default/files/entry/Linda%20Steuerwald/PA%20Airport%20Highlights%20LG-single.pdf. Retrieved 2013-01-13.
  2. ^ "". Air Traffic Report 2011 (PANYNJ). http://www.panynj.gov/airports/pdf-traffic/ATR2011.pdf. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
  3. ^ "Schedules of Charges for Air Terminals New Jersey Airports: Newark Liberty International Airport and Teterboro Airport". PANYNJ. October 2011. Retrieved 2013-01-20. "Under the terms of agreements with the City of New York, dated April 17, 1947, and with the City of Newark, dated October 22, 1947, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is responsible for the improvement, development, operation and maintenance of LaGuardia Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport." 
  4. ^ Gary Stoller (January 16, 2012). "Travel guide ranks best, worst airport terminals". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-01-20. 
  5. ^ Susanna Kim (January 18, 2012). "Frommers' 10 Worst Airport Terminals in the World". ABCNews. Retrieved 2013-01-20. 
  6. ^ Joseph Berger (December 31, 2009). "An Invitation to Fly Local". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-01-16. 
  7. ^ New York area aviation chart (VFR Terminal Area Chart) (high-resolution TIFF, ~31 MB)
  8. ^ "New York Class B Airspace Hudson River and East River Exclusion Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA)". Federal Aviation Authority. November 2009. Retrieved 2013-01-22. 
  9. ^ "New York Special Flight Rules Area for Flight Below Class B Airspace". Schodack Aviation. Retrieved 2013-01-22. 
  10. ^ Strunsky, Steve (July 29, 2014). "Satellite tracking used on just 1% of NYC-area flights, IG report says". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2014-08-05. 
  11. ^ Bureau of Transportation Statistics, U.S. Department of Transportation (2004). "America's Freight Transportation Gateways". Archived from the original on 2006-09-27. Retrieved 2007-02-18. 
  12. ^ "U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones". Import Administration. International Trade Administration. January 13, 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-20. 
  13. ^ Susan Tiefenbrun (2012), Tax Free Trade Zones Of The World And In The United States, Edward Elgar Publishing, ISBN 978 1 84980 243 7 
  14. ^ a b Bureau of Transportation Statistics, U.S. Department of Transportation (2002). "U.S. International Travel and Transportation Trends, BTS02-03". Archived from the original on 2006-10-02. Retrieved 2007-02-18. 
  15. ^ "Table 10: Top 20 U.S. Gateways for Nonstop International Air Travel: 1990, 1995, and 2000". U.S. International Travel and Transportation Trends, BTS02-03. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, U.S. Department of Transportation. 2002. Archived from the original on 2006-10-02. Retrieved 2007-02-18. 
  16. ^ The New York Sun (2005-08-05). "Long Distance at LaGuardia". Retrieved 2007-02-18. 
  17. ^ "About MacAuthur Airport". Town of Islip. Retrieved July 1, 2013. 
  18. ^ "History". Stewart International Airport. PANYNJ. Retrieved 2013-01-01. 
  19. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2008" (PDF, 1.0 MB). Federal Aviation Administration. December 18, 2009. 
  20. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2010" (PDF, 189 KB). Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011. 
  21. ^ "FAA registered Airports, heliports and other landing facilities in New York". city-data.com. 2013. Retrieved April 17, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Heliport to Open Sept. 26". New York Times. 1956-08-27. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  23. ^ GAO report, p. 10
  24. ^ GAO-08-934T, Statement of Susan Fleming, Director Physical Infrastructure Issues, in Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security, Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, U.S. Senate. "NATIONAL AIRSPACE SYSTEM: DOT and FAA Actions Will Likely Have a Limited Effect on Reducing Delays during Summer 2008 Travel Season. July 15, 2008
  25. ^ "FAA limits at Newark, N.Y. airports have not curbed delays, need to be adjusted, U.S. report shows". The Star-Ledger. November 2, 2010. Retrieved 2012-01-16. "Newark and Kennedy takeoffs and landings are limited to 81 an hour from 6 a.m. to 10:59 p.m. daily; LaGuardia flights are restricted to 71 hourly from 6 a.m. to 9:59 p.m. Monday through Friday and from noon to 9:59 p.m. on Sunday. The FAA placed the cap on LaGuardia in 2001 after letting carriers exceed limits the previous year that had been in place since 1968. The FAA extended the LaGuardia cap in 2006 and in 2009 lowered it to 71 from 75." 
  26. ^ McGeehan, Patrick (January 27, 2012). "To Expand, Airports May Need Radical Alterations, Report Says". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-12-31. 
  27. ^ Zupan, Jeffrey M.; Brone, Richard E.; Lee, Matthew H. (January 2011), Upgrading to World Class The Future of the New York Region's Airports, Regional Plan Association 
  28. ^ "FAA Regional Air Service Demand Study Summary Report". Federal Aviation Authority. May 2007. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  29. ^ Bogdan, Jennifer (July 2, 2013). "Atlantic City Airport taken over by Port Authority". Press of Atlantic City. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 

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