More than two dozen business, civic, labor and environmental organizations have formed a coalition aimed at restoring, maintaining and expanding the New York metropolitan region’s airports. Called the Better Airports Alliance, the group seeks to “educate residents on the problem of airport delays, provide fresh solutions to relieve congestion and build a consensus for major improvements.”
As part of the effort, the Regional Plan Association will undertake a comprehensive study of airport congestion. It expects to release a report on its findings this fall.
Calling the current state of air travel in the region “grim,” the Better Airports Alliance noted that JFK, Newark Liberty and La Guardia rank as the country’s most congested airports and that three-fourths of U.S. air travel delays can be traced to problems in the New York region. Air traffic congestion costs the regional economy $2.6 billion annually, the coalition said.
According to the Better Airports Alliance, many of its members are campaigning for immediate deployment of improved navigation systems, known collectively as NextGen, in the New York region. The Regional Plan Association study will consider other proposals, including expansion of the area’s three major airports, greater use of peripheral airports, demand management actions and investment in intercity rail.