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Robust Investment

Port Authority to invest more than US$376 million on delay reduction program and runway at JFK Airport

eTN Staff Writer  Feb 23, 2009

Taking the lead once again on the critical issue of delay reductions at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's airports, the bistate agency's board of commissioners has approved a US$376.3 million investment to implement the second phase of its JFK Delay Reduction Program while also reconstructing and widening one of the longest commercial airport runways in the United States - JFK's Runway 13-31, which measures more than 2.75 miles in length.

The runway project and newest phase of the airport's ongoing delay reduction program will begin in June and be completed in 2011. The delay reduction program includes projects interrelated to the runway work, such as construction of additional access points on nearby taxiways, new taxiways that will improve aircraft queuing and enable swifter departures, and easier access from taxiways to terminal gates, saving time on the ground for every passenger at JFK.

Through extensive planning with the FAA and the airlines, the Port Authority expects to minimize the impact on airport operations during the 120 days that the runway will be closed for construction in 2010. Airlines are adjusting schedules and operations to mitigate delays, and the airport's three remaining runways will be utilized to their full capabilities during the closure of Runway 13-31.

Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, "These projects have a single goal: to give every one of our 48 million annual customers at JFK a more efficient, passenger-friendly airport. This robust investment also is creating construction jobs - more than 1,000 workers in the peak period - which is certainly welcome news in the present economy."

Executive director Chris Ward said, "This is economic stimulus in real time. These investments will create jobs, reduce flight delays, and increase our airport's capacity to handle more planes."

The runway reconstruction project includes milling six inches of existing runway asphalt and overlaying with 18 inches of concrete, which has a lifespan of up to five times more than asphalt and will provide an estimated long-term savings of US$500 million, widening the runway from 150 to 200 feet to accommodate the world's largest commercial aircraft, widening taxiway intersections and creating greater taxiway access to enable more efficient aircraft movements, installing new runway lighting and electrical infrastructure, and installing new electrical feeder systems and accommodations for future navigational aids.

The magnitude of materials required to complete the job includes enough concrete cement to pave every National Football League field to a two-foot depth and enough asphalt to equal the weight of six Titanics.

Runway 13-31 measures 14,572 feet long and handles about a third of the airport's annual operations, including more than half of all departures. The airport handled about 440,000 flights in 2008.

Port Authority to invest more than US$376 million on delay reduction program and runway at JFK Airport
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