New York City-Area Airports Among Nation's Worst for Tarmac Delays: Study

A new study finds New York City area's three major airports rank among the worst in the country for tarmac delays upon takeoff and landing.

The study by Global Gateway Alliance, a nonprofit group that advocates for improvements to airports and related infrastructure, found LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy International and Newark Liberty International airports were among the worst in the nation last year in terms of tarmac delays, with thousands of flights stuck waiting on tarmacs for up to five hours.

Of 10 U.S. airports with the most tarmac delays, LaGuardia had the highest percentage of flights affected, followed by Kennedy and then Newark.

While the delayed flights represent a small percentage of overall flights at the three airports, the tarmac delays affected about 660,000 passengers over the course of 2014, the study found.

It urges the Federal Aviation Administration to speed up use of so-called NextGen satellite-based technology to reduce the runway backlog.

"Our airports are the first and last impression travelers have of this region, and it is unconscionable that so many passengers’ impressions include getting stuck on the runway for hours on end,” Global Gateway Alliance Chairman and Founder Joe Sitt said in a statement. "It is past time for the FAA to step up and prioritize the rollout of NextGen in the New York airspace for the 117 million passengers who deserve better.”

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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