New York’s LaGuardia airport was the most delayed airport in the United States in 2016, according to a new study by the Global Gateway Alliance (GGA) an organization dedicated to promoting the development of New York-area airports. Newark and JFK both finished in the bottom five according to the analysis, which compared delays at the nation’s top 29 airports for passenger traffic.
Newark had the worst on-time performance for departing flights. Key findings:
- LaGuardia finished last among the 29 airports for on-time arrival performance, while Newark ranked 27th and JFK 25th
- Newark had the worst on-time departure performance in the nation, dropping two places from last year, while LaGuardia held steady at 26th-most-delayed and JFK dropped one place to 22nd
- Approximately a third of all arriving flights, or 28.1 percent, at LaGuardia are delayed
- Salt Lake City had the highest on-time performance, with approximately 87 percent of flights arriving on time
“Once again, New York airports lead the nation for delays. So while the terminal redevelopment projects are important, these dollars won’t be enough unless we address the delay problem too. Put simply, our airports will just be nicer places to get stuck in,” said Global Gateway Alliance Chairman Joe Sitt. “The FAA must finally fully roll out NextGen satellite air traffic technology where it’s most needed; the New York airspace, and we have to look at how to expand runways to alleviate the chronic congestion.”
GGA is calling for a full roll out of NextGen in the New York airspace in order to alleviate the congestion in the skies and clear the way for more on time departures and arrivals. While New York and New Jersey are benefitting from some of the NextGen reforms, like the digital pilot communications program and curved approaches, these work better when the whole system is in place.
New York and New Jersey also need longer runways in order to accommodate growing passenger traffic and reduce delays, the GGA said. A study from the Regional Plan Association outlined four programmatic proposals for runway expansion at JFK and one for Newark to boost operations and reduce delays in adverse weather with minimal noise and environmental impacts. The proposals recommend expanding runway access into Jamaica Bay at JFK and building a third western runway parallel to the existing two at Newark. ReThinkNYC has also set forth a plan to extend runways at LaGuardia into Rikers Island.
Delay information is sourced from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics and was analyzed on a year-to-date basis for 2016. The 29 U.S. airports included each account for at least 1 percent of the nation’s total domestic scheduled-service passenger enplanements. A flight is counted “on time” if it operated less than 15 minutes after the scheduled arrival or departure time, and arrival and departure times are calculated from the arrival at or departure from the airport gate.