The latest spell of extreme weather left thousands of delays and cancellations at airports across the country, but New York City area airports were hit particularly hard, according to an analysis by the Global Gateway Alliance (GGA).
From Saturday, Jan. 4 to Tuesday, Jan. 7, John F. Kennedy International (JFK), LaGuardia and Newark airports had the most delays at 5,320 and second most cancellations at 2,155. The most cancellations at the city’s airports occurred on Monday, with 706, and the most delays were on Sunday, with 1,692.
Chicago’s two major airport hubs suffered from the most cancellations at 4,655 and the second most delays at 3,134.
More than 50 percent of all flights were cancelled or delayed during the four-day period at both New York area and Chicago airports, according to GGA.
JetBlue suspended outgoing flights at, JFK, LaGuardia, Newark, and Boston’s Logan airports to catch up with weather-related delays and cancellations Monday. The airline started gradually operating again at 10 a.m. Tuesday, but wasn’t 100 percent operational until about 3 p.m. that day
“The rampant cancellations and delays we saw this week are a wake-up call for leadership to start focusing on better airports, and they underscore why Governor [Andrew] Cuomo’s announcement that he is taking responsibility for NYC airport modernization is so timely” said Joe Sitt, Chairman and founder of GGA. “Bad weather that causes serious disruptions in air traffic is going to happen, but it shouldn’t continually wreak havoc. Travelers should expect everyone involved in the industry to create a modern, safe and efficient aviation system, and should hold our leaders accountable for delivering.”
In Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address Wednesday he said LaGuardia is ranked as the worst airport in America.
“That is a disgrace my friends and it is unacceptable and it is going to change,” he said.
The state, he said, would assume management responsibility from the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey for construction at JFK and LaGuardia airports to modernize them.
The GGA is specifically calling for faster implementation of NextGen, particularly at NYC airports and other hubs; better customer service contingency planning; modernized airport terminals; and remaining focused on safety.