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NY-NJ Airports Top List for Highest Rate of Tarmac Delays

AirplaneA new study shows that New York-New Jersey airports have the highest percentage of flights left waiting on the runway, either before takeoff or after landing, according to a new study released today by the Global Gateway Alliance (full tables below).

The study found LaGuardia, JFK and Newark were the top three airports in the country during 2014 with the highest rate of tarmac delays lasting between 61 and 300 minutes, the measure used by the FAA.  At nearly 2,500 tarmac delays, LaGuardia had the highest percentage of flights disrupted.  JFK saw an even greater number of flights facing the hours-long delays, at 2,660.  Newark’s tarmac delays accounted for over 1,600 flights.

“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,” said Global Gateway Alliance Chairman and Founder Joe Sitt.  “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.”

While these numbers represent a small percentage of overall flights at these airports, the delays affected approximately 660,000 passengers over the course of the year.  In other words, over half a million people either entering or departing the region were left sitting on the runway for between one and five hours.

Of the ten airports around the country with the most tarmac delays, New York-New Jersey airports also had the highest number of extreme delays, which last between 181 and 300 minutes, or three to five hours.  JFK and Newark were the worst and second worst airports in this category, and between the three airports, nearly 40 flights, or 4,100 passengers, experienced these extreme tarmac delays.

The New York airspace is the most congested in the nation and often the source of the region’s chronic delays.  And due to the close proximity of the airports, delays at one airport often mean delays at the others.  In order to get passengers off the ground and into the air, and vice versa, the FAA must first replace decades-old radar with the satellite-based technology of NextGen to clear the airways and eradicate backlogs on the runways.

However, NextGen implementation has been delayed until at least 2025 and counting.  And even when the technology is in place, it remains underutilized.  For example, last year a DOT report showed that less than 1 percent of aircrafts were using curved “NextGen” approaches at New York and New Jersey airports, approaches which enable smoother, more efficient landings as well as the use of more runways.

Table 1: Top 10 Airports for Tarmac Delays between 61-300 minutes in 2014, Ranked by Percentage of Flights Affected

 

Rank Airport Total Flights Delayed Min Time Lost (mins) % of Flights Affected Traffic in 2014
Flights Pax
1 New York, NY (LGA) 2,457 149,877 0.68% 360,834 26,954,588
2 New York, NY (JFK) 2,661 162,321 0.63% 422,912 53,254,362
3 Newark, NJ (EWR) 1,670 101,870 0.42% 398,630 35,600,108
4 Chicago, IL (ORD) 3,679 224,419 0.42% 881,933 70,075,204
5 Philadelphia, PA (PHL) 1,557 94,977 0.37% 419,253 30,740,180
6 Washington, DC (DCA) 1,005 61,305 0.35% 283,174 20,810,387
7 Detroit, MI (DTW) 1,041 63,501 0.27% 392,655 32,513,555
8

Houston, TX (IAH)

1,186 72,346 0.23% 508,935 41,251,015
9 Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW) 1,373 83,753 0.20% 679,820 63,522,823
10 Atlanta, GA (ATL) 1,732 105,652 0.20% 868,359 96,178,899

 

Table 2: Top 10 Airports for Tarmac Delays lasting 61-300 minutes in 2014, Ranked by total number of delayed flights

 

Rank Airport Total Flights Delayed Min Time Lost (mins) % of Flights Affected Traffic in 2014
Flights Pax
1 Chicago, IL (ORD) 3,679 224,419 0.42% 881,933 70,075,204
2 New York, NY (JFK) 2,661 162,321 0.63% 422,912 53,254,362
3 New York, NY (LGA) 2,457 149,877 0.68% 360,834 26,954,588
4 Atlanta, GA (ATL) 1,732 105,652 0.20% 868,359 96,178,899
5 Newark, NJ (EWR) 1,670 101,870 0.42% 398,630 35,600,108
6 Philadelphia, PA (PHL) 1,557 94,977 0.37% 419,253 30,740,180
7 Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW) 1,373 83,753 0.20% 679,820 63,522,823
8 Houston, TX (IAH) 1,186 72,346 0.23% 508,935 41,251,015
9 Detroit, MI (DTW) 1,041 63,501 0.27% 392,655 32,513,555
10 Washington, DC (DCA) 1,005 61,305 0.35% 283,174 20,810,387

Table 3: Top 10 Airports for “Extreme Tarmac Delays” (lasting 181-300 mins) in 2014, Ranked by Number of Delays

 

Rank Airport Total Flights Delayed Min Time Lost (mins) % of Flights Affected Traffic in 2014
Flights Pax
1 New York, NY (JFK) 21 3,801 0.0050% 422,912 53,254,362
2 Newark, NJ (EWR) 16 2,896 0.0040% 398,630 35,600,108
3 Philadelphia, PA (PHL) 9 1,629 0.0021% 419,253 30,740,180
4 Atlanta, GA (ATL) 6 1,086 0.0007% 868,359 96,178,899
5 Chicago, IL (ORD) 5 905 0.0006% 881,933 70,075,204
6 Houston, TX (IAH) 4 724 0.0010% 392,655 32,513,555
7 Detroit, MI (DTW) 4 724 0.0008% 508,935 41,251,015
8 Washington, DC (DCA) 1 181 0.0004% 283,174 20,810,387
9 New York, NY (LGA)

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.

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