Tuesday, October 07, 2014
By Fred Mogul : Reporter, WNYC News
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
By Megan Malloy
Monday, May 12, 2014
By Robert Lewis : Reporter, WNYC News
In a symbolic event to pressure airlines and officials, workers from JFK, Laguardia and Newark airports signed cards saying they want to join 32BJ Service Employees International Union.
Friday, January 10, 2014
By Kate Hinds
Gov. Cuomo jumps on the Port Authority's moment in the spotlight to exert his own authority.
Thursday, January 09, 2014
By Kate Hinds
New York City's airports performed worse than any other in the country during the recent polar vortex.
Wednesday, January 08, 2014
By Kate Hinds
On Tuesday, New York's governor called New York City's main airports "inexcusable." On Wednesday, he announced he would take over their redevelopment.
Friday, November 01, 2013
By Reema Khrais
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says it has increased its airport patrols as a precaution in the wake of the Los Angeles airport shooting.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
International travel is up, and so are the wait times at airports to pass through customs. (See chart below)
Thursday, September 20, 2012
By Bob Hennelly
(New York, NY -- WNYC) The day after the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey released a consultant's report lauding the agency's newfound zeal for transparency and accountability, the public showed up at the agency's monthly Board of Commissioners meeting with a very different assessment.
It was a full house.
A contingent of 9/11 family members used the public comment period to urge the Commissioners to reject a Memorandum of Understanding entered into last week between the bi-state agency and the National September 11th Memorial and Museum. The deal, reached a day before the eleventh anniversary of the terror attacks, cleared the way for work to resume. Construction at the site had halted last year after a funding squabble.
Sally Regenhard, who lost her firefighter son on September 11th, took the Port Authority to task for not sufficiently involving the 9/11 families in the process. "Do not approve this MOU until we can have full public disclosure involving the 9/11 families as well as the community."
Richard Hughes of the Twin Towers Alliance told the panel it was being expedient with their deal with the Memorial and Museum that calls for passing ownership of the former site of the Twin Towers to the non-profit in exchange for adjacent land where the Deutsche Bank building once stood.
"You have eight acres of prime important downtown real estate -- a site that is sacred to all of us -- and you are giving it away or swapping it, but it is really giving it away, without public debate, behind closed doors," Hughes said.
Under the agency's public comment period protocol, Commissioners don't respond directly to the public. But speaking to reporters afterwards, officials defended the deal as breaking a lengthy impasse and insuring the project stays on budget while guaranteeing the site remains a memorial.
Of particular concern to family members at the hearing were the plans to place several thousand of the unidentified remains from the attack in the museum. Boosters of that plan say it will permit work to continue on identifying the remains. The 9/11 families want the surviving families to be polled.
The full board approved the MOU over their objections -- but after the vote, Port Authority executive director Patrick Foye reminded reporters the agency had lost 84 employees in the attack. He said he understood the families' concerns about the remains. "Given the grievous loss those family members experienced that is an issue that resonates with me," Foye said.
But it isn't only how the Port has handled Ground Zero that had members of the public fuming.
Casandra Dock came with residents of of the city of Newark. She chastised the Commissioners for not holding public meetings of the board west of the Hudson in New Jersey.
"I come before this board today -- since this is the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey -- to ask this board to have some of these board meetings over in Newark, New Jersey," Dock said.
In the board's brief public meeting it did move on some items without controversy. John F. Kennedy International Airport will host a animal handling facility that the Port Authority says will be the most comprehensive facility of its kind in the nation. The board also approved the deal with ARK Development LLC to convert a vacant building at JFK into what Foye says will be a state-of-the-art facility that will handle everything from household pets to horses.
"And this facility will provide animal daycare and kenneling services, more efficient animal transport services--a full service veterinary hospital. The facility is expected to serve approximately 70,000 wild and domestic animals a year,"Foye said.
The deal will net the agency more than $100 million dollars in rent over the next 20 years.
The Port also funded a study looking at the feasibility of taking over Atlantic City International Airport. It will also take a look at running its existing PATH train from where it currently ends -- in Newark Penn Station -- out to Newark Liberty Airport.
The latest board actions come as the agency grapples with how to fund some $44 billion dollars in upgrades it says the region's transportation infrastructure will need by 2020.
Monday, September 17, 2012
Authorities say two commercial passenger jets have been searched at John F. Kennedy International Airport because of an anonymous phone call claiming explosives were on them. They say no explosives have been found.
Friday, July 13, 2012
A jetliner bound for Madrid was returned to Kennedy International Airport as a precaution Thursday evening after a passenger reported strange wiring in the bathroom, but no explosive device was found, law enforcement officials said.
Monday, May 21, 2012
By Jim O'Grady
(New York, NY - WNYC) The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is beefing up customer service at area airports — and getting some James Cameron-style help in the form of avatars.
The avatar is a life-sized flat screen in the shape of a woman who activates when a customer approaches. In a perky, smirky, sexy voice, she dispenses flight information and tips about airport services like the location of shuttle buses, rest rooms and taxis. She gives the same spiel to every customer.
Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye unveiled one of the computerized avatars at a press conference at LaGuardia Airport Monday morning. He said the machines are meant to supplement the airport's 350 flesh-and-blood customer representatives, who will soon be joined by 70 new hires.
A total of five avatars are scheduled for installation at LaGuardia, JFK and Liberty Newark airports in early July. Unlike most humans, they won't be interactive. But Foye said he hopes a future iteration of the talking machines will hold conversations with passengers.
That didn't stop the demonstration avatar from extolling her advantages over human employees: "I never take a break, don't charge overtime, hardly ever take sick leave and I don't need a background check." Later, she smiled suggestively and said, "I can...be just about anything you want me to be."
(In the video above that's PA Chief Pat Foye, with white beard and glasses, in the background around the 35-second mark.)
The Authority also unveiled new airport apps and dozens of information kiosks and electronic device charging stations to help travelers.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
By Annmarie Fertoli : Associate Producer at WNYC
The travel group Frommer’s has made a list of the world’s ten worst airport terminals, and terminals at all three area airports operated by the Port Authority are on it.
Monday, August 29, 2011
Hurricane Irene knocked out public transport from from the Carolinas through New England, and that includes all three of New York’s major airports. A big whack of all commercial flights in the U.S. are routed through New York, as many 12,000 flights have been cancelled. Business was hit as well. Samsung was forced to delay the planned release of it’s newest phone, because it couldn't can get shipments to New York. And on an individual level weddings had to be cancelled, the convention goers got stuck in Vegas for another weekend and then there's those who rode out Irene at JFK.
Monday, August 29, 2011
Hurricane Irene made landfall in New York Sunday morning, downgraded to a tropical storm after hitting the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Philadelphia, and New Jersey particularly hard over the weekend. Last night, the storm reached New England, triggering floods in Vermont. At least 16 deaths have been reported as a result of the storm. This morning, after being grounded through the weekend for Hurricane Irene, airlines at New York City's three major airports are readying their planes and crews for departures.
Thursday, August 04, 2011
By Jim O'Grady
(New York, NY - WNYC) With Congress in recess and the Federal Aviation Administration's partial shutdown grinding on, it seems more likely that 74,000 affected workers won't be getting a paycheck until September. The U.S. Department of Transportation says about 4,000 FAA workers have been furloughed and 70,000 construction workers put out of work by the dispute over the FAA's funding re-authorization, now two weeks old.
Dan Stefko, president of the Eastern Region Engineers & Architects at the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, says he and his co-workers are hurting. "Anger, dismay, disappointment and worry" are the words Stefko used to describe his feeling and those of his co-workers.
"All of us have mortgages we have to pay, we all have car payments. My members have families that they have to feed. A lot of them are worried. There's fear," Stefko said.
The FAA shut down after the GOP-led Congress inserted a policy change into a routine funding authorization. Senate Democrats balked, accusing Republicans of trying to gain leverage in a larger dispute over labor law. Though the President said Wednesday he expects the dispute to be resolved by week's end, neither party has shown signs of relenting.
Meanwhile, more than 250 projects around the U.S. have been halted. LaGuardia Airport in New York has been hit particularly hard. Here's a sample of its suspended projects:
- New runway status lights to let pilots know they're on the correct runway.
- Demolition of an old traffic control tower that is blocking the sight lines of controllers in a new tower when they look down to monitor certain taxiway intersections.
- The placement of $10 million worth of security bollards around the Central Terminal building.
Beyond LaGuardia, the region's major radar control facility in Garden City, Long Island, is not getting hardware and software upgrades to give air traffic controllers better information when guiding planes into and out of New York's airspace.
The development of NextGen technology, a long-term project, has also been stalled. The program aims to replace ground-based tracking of aircraft to satellite and GPS tracking. "That will will allow more precise routes and greater efficiency and cost-savings," Sefko said. "That means shorter routes for the flying public."
At JFK Airport, a major taxiway is not getting its potholes filled and old asphalt replaced. And half-completed improvements to an air traffic controller's break room have exiled controllers, who have strict rest requirements, to a cramped office.
At Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, a $20 million rehab of two of its runways has been stopped.
Stefko said the shutdown's timing is particularly bad because summer is the prime building season. "This is the best time to make concrete progress--literally," he said.
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
By Jim O'Grady
A dispute in Congress over the Federal Aviation Administration's funding re-authorization has led to the suspension of 241 airport construction projects, affecting around 74,000 workers who won't be getting a paycheck until September as the partial shutdown of the FAA drags on.