Record Number of Travelers Used Area Airports in 2013

By Nicholas Zifcak, Epoch Times
January 14, 2014 Updated: January 14, 2014

NEW YORK—More than 111 million travelers passed through New York and New Jersey regional airports this year, beating an all-time record set in 2007.

The record number of travelers is a boon to the region’s recovering economy said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye, calling the numbers good “for direct and indirect job creation.” The authority manages the four regional airports: Newark, LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy and Stewart International.

John F. Kennedy International Airport served a record 50 million passengers in 2013, with 26 million international travelers. LaGuardia generally serves around 25 million passengers annually.

“These numbers illustrate the importance of our continued investments to deliver the improvements our passengers demand, including rebuilt runways and high-speed taxiways to alleviate congestion and delays, and terminal improvements to ease travel for our customers,” said Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Deborah Gramiccioni in a press release.

During his State of the State address on Jan. 8, Gov. Andrew Cuomo bemoaned LaGuardia Airport’s recent ranking as worst airport in the United States. Cuomo said redevelopment plans for the airports have been dragging on and that the state will take over management of construction at the two airports.

Cuomo cited state takeover of the Tappan Zee Bridge rebuilding as an example. With Cuomo lobbying for federal funding and pushing for expedited approval, rebuilding of the Tappan Zee Bridge finally moved forward.

In his plan Cuomo said he would be pushing forward the existing plan to redevelop LaGuardia’s Central Terminal Building. The building was built to accommodate 8 million passengers annually, but last year it served 12.5 million travelers. Cuomo said he also hopes to increase cargo traffic through JFK, which he credited as an important source of jobs in the past.

The “state will identify opportunities to reimagine and dramatically improve the passenger experience at both LaGuardia and JFK,” according to Cuomo’s book from the State of the State.

The report outlines plans for more high-end shopping, branches of popular local restaurants, on-airport hotels, cleaner bathrooms, showers, rapid charging stations, and free Wi-Fi.