JFK runway to close

A major runway widening project
started Monday at John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York.

Runway 13 to 31 is to be widened to
200 feet from its current 150 feet. There will also be new taxi-ways for
planes. It’s designed to eventually reduce traffic congestion at the busy airport
and will cost US$376 million. The work will take in the region of four months.

As a result, arrivals and
departures at JFK will be reduced from 1,300 per day to around 1,050 in order
to reduce flight delays.

A statement from the office of New
York Governor, David Paterson, said that the rebuilt runway would have a
measurable long-term effect, and that air operators were already looking to
change their flight plans to minimise the effect on passengers.

“The improvements are expected
to reduce flight delays overall by an estimated 10,500 hours per year.

“Airlines are adjusting
schedules and operations to mitigate delays, and the airport’s three remaining
runways will be utilized to their full capabilities during the Bay Runway’s closure,”
said a statement.

During 2009, around 20 per cent of
flights were delayed on take-off at JFK, according to the United States
Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.