Port Authority officials explain upcoming projects and potential impacts at Monday's TVASNAC meeting.
Remember when the Bay
Runway at JFK airport was shut down for 120 days in 2010 for a major
reconstruction project? Well, the Port Authority is planning a similar job
on 4L/22R that is expected to start in 2013 and shut down these runways in 2014.
At Monday's meeting of the
Town-Village Aircraft Safety and Noise Abatement Committee, Ralph Tragale,
assistant director of Aviation for the Port Authority of New York and New
Jersey, and Jim Steven, manager of Physical Plant and Redevelopment at JFK
airport, described the minor projects they have planned for the rest of 2012
and shed light on the major work slated for 2013 and beyond.
Construction is winding
down at JFK airport, Tragale said, and the Port Authority has no plans to take
any runways out of service for the rest of the calendar year for any extended
amount of time. In October, Runway 4R will be closed for one day for a
community clean-up project, 13L and 4L will be closed for two nights for runway
grooving work, and 4R will be shut down by the FAA for atleast five nights to work
on its approach lights. There's always the potential that the Port Authority
may need to close other runways for regular lighting and pavement repairs as
needed, but these result in very short-term closures, Steven explained.
But in 2013 the Port
Authority plans to begin its next major rehabilitation project, which is
expected to cost nearly $500 million. As it did with 13R/22L, also known as the
“Bay Runway,” the asphalt base (which needs to be rehabbed every 7-10 years) on
4L/22R will be replaced with concrete, which has a 40-year lifespan. (Tragale put
to rest rumors that the contractors botched the Bay Runway concrete job.) Similarly,
4L/22R will also be widened to 200 feet.
“The project is driven by
runway safety issues,” Steven said, explaining that a Congressional mandate was
issued to make all runway safety areas fully compliant with Federal Aviation
Administration standards by 2015.
Currently, 4L/22R lacks a
sufficient safety area at its south end, which is needed in case a plane
overruns the runway. But since the Port Authority cannot extend the runway
further south, because it would encroach on Gateway National Park, an
additional 460 feet of pavement will be added to its north end to achieve
The Port Authority expects
construction on this project to begin this spring, with most of the work
concentrated on the north end. The runway will remain in service in 2013, but
it will be closed for most of 2014, as construction continues throughout the
spring, summer and fall. “I have to have it open by Nov. 15, 2014,” Steven
When the Bay Runway was
under construction, the Port Authority reached out to JFK’s major carriers
asking them to reduce their schedules to minimize the impact the closure would
have on residents living under the runways that had to take on the flights that
could no longer use 13R/22L.
“None of them want to
reduce unless they all reduce … so it has to be cooperative effort,” Tragale
said. “Our experience with the Bay Runway was very good and I expect it to be
Check back tomorrow to see
what questions and concerns TVASNAC representatives and residents in attendance
had for the Port Authority officials.
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