By Evie Carrick
April 05, 2019

One of the more frustrating parts of air travel is sitting on the tarmac – buckled in and ready to fly – only to hear the pilot announce a long line of planes ahead of you in line. Travelers flying through New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport this summer may want to prepare themselves for such a delay as the airport closes one of its four runways for a paving project.

The runway, which the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey reports was “approaching the end of its useful life,” will be widened by 33 percent and incorporate new lights, signs, cables, and navigational aids. The project starts this week and will continue through November 2019. The closed runway currently handles one-third of all JFK arrivals and its closure could mean delays, The Points Guy reported.

To minimize the disruption, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Port Authority have strategies in place to maximize efficiency and optimize airport communications. The FAA is studying the JFK runway configuration, aircraft traffic flow rates, and aircraft traffic management strategies in order to reduce delays.

During the construction period, the Port Authority will have the Airport Operations Center open 24-hours a day to manage communications between airlines, terminal operators, air traffic control, customs, and security.

“With collaboration from our airline partners and the Federal Aviation Administration, the next eight months of continuous work on Runway 13L-31R will pay huge dividends in terms of operational safety and efficiency over the coming decades at JFK, as it represents the final phase of upgrading the four operational runways at the airport,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton.