Port details projects to improve traffic flow at JFK airport

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 June, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 13 June, 1997, 12:00am

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey plans to spend US$13.4 million on projects to improve traffic flow on a major road at John F. Kennedy International Airport, and to reduce flight delays at Newark International Airport.

Projects authorised by the authority's board of commissioners include finishing touches, landscaping, pull-off areas and improved signs.

They mark the imminent completion of a project to rebuild the portion of the Van Wych Expressway running through JFK International Airport.

Port authority chairman Lewis Eisenberg said: 'About $4 billion in port authority and private funds will be spent at JFK over the next several years.' Further works included new roads and parking in the central terminal area, two new passenger terminals, a light-rail system, and many other improvements, he said.

Work is scheduled to begin in September, after the airport's summer peak season, and will be completed by the end of the year.

Under the original project, which began in September, the Van Wyck Expressway was widened and rehabilitated.

Six newly surfaced expressway lanes are to open next month. Other roads at JFK are being expanded or improved under a $549 million programme to speed travel to and from the passenger terminals.

JFK handled 31.1 million passengers in 1996, including 17.4 million international passengers - more than any other airport in the United States. It also handled 1.67 million tonnes of cargo, ranking it as one of the busiest cargo airports in the world.

Under the present authorisation, the port authority will also provide $3 million to Linden Airport, a small general aviation airport about eight kilometres south of Newark International.

Poor weather frequently forces pilots using Linden to use approach procedures that interfere with traffic at Newark.

Air traffic controllers must temporarily stop traffic at Newark to accommodate Linden traffic.

The result is often an airliner with 250 passengers burning fuel on a Newark taxiway waiting to depart, or circling in a holding pattern waiting to land.

Linden will use the $3 million for runway and taxiway improvements and for equipment that will allow Linden-based aircraft to use the satellite-based Global Positioning System for approach procedures.