Wall Street Journal printed an article slanted toward generating public support for a multi-billion dollar redevelopment of the La Guardia Airport [KLGA] terminal by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. A scrollable PDF copy is posted below, but first here are the musings of a retired airline pilot, very familiar with this airport, and also familiar with the huge airport noise impacts that are not even mentioned in Scott McCartney’s WSJ article:
Click on the image below for a scrollable view; the PDF file may be downloaded.
There is also the issue of La Guardia’s horrible access. This airport is surrounded by dense urban residential development, and real estate is expensive and limited. Unbelievably, most people from places like Manhattan have to further congest the crowded streets with a cab-ride to/from the airport. An obvious fix would be to add a rail link, a proposal that has been pushed for decades, but with no real forward progress. And, too, the transit line it would connect to, the No. 7 line, is already maxed out.
NYC is a great city and should be proudly shared with the world as a beacon of the American exceptionalism so many politicians often cite during their campaigns. The many failures at La Guardia – by the FAA that refuses to manage capacity, and the local officials and labor unions that impede problem-solving – are instead a grand American embarrassment. This area is sclerotic with too much overdevelopment driven by pols who trade building permits for kickbacks (aka campaign and PAC donations). The status quo is broken.
There is a clear need to look into all the possibilities for KLGA before this renovation gets underway. One of the most ‘exceptional’ possibilities is to actually downscale the airport, even close it entirely. We all know that, once the project starts, the argument will become that they don’t want to waste the money that has already been spent. For everyone’s benefit, we need a long-term, viable solution – especially to provide relief for noise-impacted residents – and that solution will likely include:
- use of technologies to carefully minimize noise and other adverse impacts
- for both noise reduction and to ensure KLGA does not create delays that cascade through the NAS, impose a substantial reduction of hourly operations, to a strict limit of perhaps 20-30 departures per hour.
- impose schedule management methodologies that ensure this critically located airport is used solely to serve passengers into and out of New York City, and ensures the airlines are NOT using KLGA as a hub for the profitable sorting of through-passengers.
- manage airline use of the NYC-area airports using a larger ‘system-view’ that disperses impacts, ensuring that no single communities are excessively impacted with noise and other aviation pollutants.
- 3/31/2016 – Press Release: Meng Urges Key Congressional Committee to Do Everything in Its Power to Combat Airplane Noise over Queens
- 5/24/2015 – ‘A Matter of Trust’
- 5/8/2015 – ‘Don’t Rehab La Guardia Airport. Close It.’
- 8/16/2014 – ‘Florida Airports are Particularly Vulnerable to Sea Level Rise’ … and given the low elevation at KLGA, money invested will soon be wasted due to global warming and polar ice melting. This airport did flood during Hurricane Sandy.
- September 2012 – ‘An Aerial View of Flushing While on the Whitestone Climb’
- 4/29/2004 – La Guardia Slot Allocation – A Clock-Proxy Auction Approach
- April 2001 – ‘La Guardia Airport: Can the Airport and the Community Coexist?’