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Transportation Government The Almighty Buck

Critics Say It's Time To Close La Guardia Airport 203

HughPickens.com writes: George Haikalis writes in the NYT that last week, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey put off, yet again, deciding between two proposals for a nearly $4 billion project to rehabilitate the dilapidated Central Terminal Building at La Guardia Airport. But piling billions of taxpayer dollars into upgrading La Guardia, which has been likened to an experience "in a third world country," won't solve its fundamental problems. "It can't easily expand," says Haikalis. "Its two runways and four terminals are surrounded on three sides by water, making landing difficult and hazardous. Parking is a nightmare."

There are precedents for replacing airports close to the center city with modern, more outlying airports. Hong Kong and Denver are two examples; Berlin will soon follow suit. With the consolidation of the major United States airlines and the sluggishness in the global economy, the much larger Kennedy and Newark airports could accommodate La Guardia's passenger load, by adding more frequent service and using larger aircraft, if the F.A.A. were to lift the caps on the number of flights allowed there. Kennedy, with its two sets of parallel runways, could handle many more flights, particularly as new air-traffic control technology is introduced in the next few years. The money budgeted for the La Guardia upgrades would be better used to create a long-proposed one-ride express-rail link between Manhattan and J.F.K., by reviving a long-disused, 3.5-mile stretch of track in central Queens and completing the modernization of the terminals at Kennedy. "By avoiding the costly replacement of outmoded terminals at La Guardia and by creating a new express rail link and upgrading terminals at Kennedy, the increased economic activity could more than make up for the lost jobs," concludes Haikalis. "New York's importance to America's economy demands a first world vision to shutter this third world airport."
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Critics Say It's Time To Close La Guardia Airport

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  • No thank you (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JBMcB ( 73720 ) on Saturday May 09, 2015 @07:38AM (#49652875)

    La Guardia is right next to the Triborough and at the top of the BQE. You can get to midtown via taxi in 20 minutes in heavy traffic. It takes ten minutes from the time you are off the Jetway, down the escalator, at the luggage carousel, and to the cab stand.

    Granted, landing and taking off can be... exciting. One day we had a nasty tail wind, so the pilot had to gun the engines as we were making the turn onto the runway to get enough speed - something I've never seen anyone do before.

    Otherwise, I'd give up useless amenities for expediency.

    • Re:No thank you (Score:5, Informative)

      by antiperimetaparalogo ( 4091871 ) on Saturday May 09, 2015 @08:24AM (#49653047)
      Well, George Haikalis (civil engineer / transportation planner), as a Greek (American), is apparently influenced by the ideas of Constantinos Doxiadis [wikipedia.org], a well known internationally Greek architect and city planner (e.g., master planner of Pakistan's capital new builded city, Islamabad) who was proposing closing our old airport in Athens and building a new for decades before that happened (just before the 2004 Olympics) - our new Athens airport, while far from the city center (but with an express metro rail link), is far more efficient, and has contributed to the economy (don't laugh... at least our tourism does great, this year we had more than 20 million visits in Greece -double our population-, many of them landing in Athens before going to the islands, something our old airport could not provide because of its limits). Many (most) Athenians were against the new airport (and/or closing our old), but now everyone agrees that it was the right thing. And the old airport's area, inside Athens (and next to the sea), is now the biggest free zone for city development in Europe (something we hope will bring few billions Euros, as we may need them right now!). But the key was the express metro rail link between the airport and Athens center, something George Haikalis surely used many times - if Athens can do it right, NY can do it better.
      • by Ecuador ( 740021 )

        Not everyone thinks closing down the old airport in Athens was a good idea. In fact most people I have discussed this with (mainly people who fly a lot) think that they should have kept the newest terminal (which was quite good) and serve at least some short-haul flights from there. Sure, there is a subway to the Airport, but it is a very long way away (which is of course even more of a problem if you can't take the subway). It is not that good to have to make a 1 hour trip to the airport to catch a 1 hour

    • by guises ( 2423402 ) on Saturday May 09, 2015 @09:27AM (#49653315)
      I always avoid La Guardia because there's no subway there. If you're Daddy Warbucks and taking taxis everywhere then fine, I can see why you might want La Guardia to freshen up its tophat stand and add a new monocle dispenser. JFK is always the faster and more convenient option for me.
      • There's no subways to JFK either, really. Yes, yes, you can transfer to the Air Train, which is better than the bus. But honestly, there's no subways to any of the airports. No matter what, you have to transfer to some other train or bus or something, or else take a car.

        And sure, JFK may be more convenient for you, but it's less convenient for other people. I can spend over an hour transferring trains trying to get to JFK and pay $2.50 for the subway and $5 for the air train, or spend $50 for a car to

    • One day we had a nasty tail wind, so the pilot had to gun the engines as we were making the turn onto the runway to get enough speed - something I've never seen anyone do before.

      That has little to do with the airport itself. I've experienced similar things in plenty of other places. It gets even more exciting when you're on a small 60 seater which is pushed around more easily by the wind. Actually my personal favourite was landing and taking off again because we ran out of usable runway in New Zealand. Lots of people scratching their heads why we were suddenly on the ground and then in the air again circling around for another go.

  • Maybe they can remake the airport into a toxic waste dump instead. There are only 30 million additional fliers at newark and
    Kennedy.

    No problem at all there. The additional time on the ground while you sit on a runway waiting for your turn will more than be made up for
    with a nice new train.

  • by Trachman ( 3499895 ) on Saturday May 09, 2015 @07:46AM (#49652899) Journal

    It can be guaranteed that New York will choose the most expensive option, will have a budget overrun and will be 20 years late.

    When you see likening to the third world country is a mere beginning of the campaign so that people would be believe that the issue is so big, so unsolvable that only a multi-billion dollar project can solve the issue. There will be proposals for floating on water airports, airports to be build on artificial islands.

    For all I care, the NYC with one of the largest subway systems in the world for the last 85 years could not extend a subway link to Laguardia. I do not know what was the issue: corrupt taxicab companies or some other sinister reasons.

    The issue is not Laguardia airport here, the issue is poor public transportation to certain airports, or truth the be told - absence of if, and there are many other airports in NYC metro area: Islip, Westchester, teterboro, Trenton, and so on.

    In my opinion, travelers do not care about the appearance of the airports, all they want is convenient way to arrive, park or rent a car, and leave shortly. Politicians want appearance, costs be damned.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Which is why I choose to fly out of National instead of Dulles even though it is further from my house. At 5:30 am, I can go from taxi to sitting at my gate with a coffee and bagel in about 7-10 minutes. At Dulles, that would take me a minimum of 40 minutes if everything was timed right and I would have been walking for about 30 of those 40 minutes. If I lived inside the beltway, taking the metro to DCA would make it even easier but I still have a public transportation option when I arrive back home to D

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      The issue here is all about public relations and the reality being hidden behind it. LaGuardia Airport airport is a low lying airport basically surrounded by sea. So, shh, we are still playing denial, it is likely to be flooded by sea level rise(pretend you did not read that). So they are looking to replace before it 'er' 'um' is less able to serve the public need in 'er' 'um' changing economic circumstances and 'er' 'um' altered commercial demands. So expect a series of infrastructure projects based aroun

  • Error in summary: (Score:5, Informative)

    by Smidge204 ( 605297 ) on Saturday May 09, 2015 @07:52AM (#49652911) Journal

    "Parking is a nightmare."

    This statement implies parking is even possible.

    Last time I went there to pick someone up, I drove around in circles in a holding pattern comparable to the planes themselves. "Parking" is not something that actually occurs at La Guardia.
    =Smidge=

    • Just as well: with that subway system y'all have got up there, nobody should need to park at the airport anyway.

      What's that? The subway doesn't go to La Guardia, you say? Damn, even here in Atlanta, with our shitty transit system, we manage to get a train to the airport! So much for that superior New York attitude...

      • Well they started building the NYC subway system before planes existed and it opened for business less than a year after the Wright Brother's flight so there's a bit more legacy here than Atlanta. It's also a different scale as you could fit the Atlanta system 40 times over into the NYC system (by weekday passenger volume). Our secondary subway system is bigger than Atlanta's subway. We have a single line that, if it were its own entire subway system, it would still have more rides than the entire Washingto

        • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

          They could extend the N/Q out east but I don't think it's really going to cope with 100x passenger volume on those segments.

          Or fork the M/R line after Steinway St. I assume they share tracks in that stretch. That would give you two possible routes onto Manhattan instead of one, with a transfer at Queens Plaza for the A/C/E line and a transfer at Lexington Ave. for the 4/5/6 line. If capacity is still a problem, extend the platforms for longer trains, run more trains, or both.

          It would be a pain in the backside for anybody trying to get on the 7 line, but you could always change directions at Steinway, 36th, or Queens Plaza, an

    • by Livius ( 318358 )

      This statement implies parking is even possible.

      It could be understood to mean parking only happens during dream states.

  • alternatives (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cellocgw ( 617879 ) <cellocgwNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday May 09, 2015 @08:01AM (#49652949) Journal

    I find it far easier and more pleasant to take the train from Boston. Presumably the same holds for folks from Philly.

    I'd also like to see more business travellers learn to use video conferencing instead of blowing off a few gigajoules on the theory that face-to-face is the only acceptable way to hold a meeting.

    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      The lack of video conferencing problem is mentally incapacitated management. Plus that many "businessmen" use business travel as an excuse to bill a vacation to the company, or enjoy an out of town mistress.

      Any company that does not have a good video conferencing system in at least 2 conference rooms is ran by morons.

      • Plus that many "businessmen" use business travel as an excuse to bill a vacation to the company, or enjoy an out of town mistress.

        What the hell do you think this is, 1974? In my industry (software product management) I travel quite a bit and I don't know any other road warriors like you describe.

      • Any company that does not have a good video conferencing system in at least 2 conference rooms is ran by morons.

        Really? So I run a manufacturing company. My customers are almost all within 1 day's driving distance. Furthermore I have yet to run into a single problem that would have been better solved if only we had a video conferencing system in our conference room. Why? Because our problems are out of the factory floor, not in a conference room. When I need to visit a customer for something I can't do over the phone or email it's because I'm going to be spending time on a factory floor looking into the guts of

        • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

          I think some people are just confused by the whole idea of factories in the US. We keep being told that all of that "factory-stuff" happens in China now.

          • I think some people are just confused by the whole idea of factories in the US. We keep being told that all of that "factory-stuff" happens in China now.

            Heh. Yeah, I get that a lot. The notion that we don't make anything in the US is a pretty bizarre one given that measured in dollars we manufacture more stuff than anyone. Funny thing is that many people take it as a given even though it's trivial to show that American manufacturing is alive and well and continuing to grow.

    • I use videoconferencing a lot, but there are many times when it just doesn't get the job done, particularly when you are dealing with people from another country and there is already a language/understanding gap. Communicating in person is still much more effective, as is relationship building.
      • I use videoconferencing a lot, but there are many times when it just doesn't get the job done, particularly when you are dealing with people from another country and there is already a language/understanding gap. Communicating in person is still much more effective, as is relationship building.

        Plus, there is the added value of actually punching someone in the face when you're there.

        Videoconferencing only offers the ability to wobble your balls at them, or shooting them the finger.

        • OK, here's a new idea for a start up...

          A telepresence physical abuse robot.

          Works with all major video conference systems. Able to get right in the face of the appointed victim and the user gets to chose from several different forms of intimidation - having the robot inflate to a larger volume, a soft plastic club, a metal bar or perhaps a tazer. The possibilities are endless.

          Besides, development would be fun.

    • Philly to NYC is a no-brainer: train. Amtrak in about an hour if you are feeling spendy, NJ Transit for a more leisurely ride at 1/5 the cost.

      Depending on the time of day, the bus is actually the best option - almost as fast as Amtrak and cheaper than even NJ Transit.

  • Recently flew into JFK and I was amazed at how crappy that airport is. Dirty, nasty, and falling apart. just look at the ceiling and see how much dirt is everywhere.

    It's like they can't bother to hire custodians and clean. seating all looked like hell, 90% of all the electrical outlets were destroyed.

    Yeah, not impressed for a city that has as much wealth as it does.

    • If you maintain things properly, then people won't see how obviously great your idea to spend a gazillion dollars to replace it is. It's like you've never done anything in government before... :)

    • Dirty, nasty, and falling apart.

      That's my basic impression of most of NYC. Beat up, dirty, and falling apart and no one seems to care much. I went to school not far from the city and have visited plenty of times. Almost moved there for a job once. But never have thought it was a pleasant place to be. Interesting? Sure. Impressive? Definitely. But also dirty, gross and highly overrated. New Yorkers simply don't seem to care much about living in a clean place. It's among the dirtiest big cities I've been to and I've been to Hong K

  • The whole three major airport system in the NYC area is a mess. When we were looking at flying overseas we gave up on flying through New York. The flights from our local airport (YHZ) go in through LGA or Newark, but the outgoing Trans-Atlantic flights leave through JFK. We would either need to fly on separate tickets and risk loosing all of our money for a delayed flight, or make an unnecessary stopover in Detroit.

    I understand that there may be too much traffic for one big airport, but there need to be

  • by michaelmalak ( 91262 ) <michael@michaelmalak.com> on Saturday May 09, 2015 @08:44AM (#49653099) Homepage
    It now costs $110 for a taxi to downtown. Yeah, rail is opening next year, 20 years after the airport. That'll make it convenient for those traveling without children, skis, disabilities, or extended-stay luggage, and whose Denver location is near a stop on Denver's rail system, which was optimized for miles of track laid rather than number of useful locations served or transit time.
    • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
      Yeah, I haven't figured out how to make a trip to DIA for less than $60. Even if it's just to drop a departing passenger off, gas and tolls are about that. God help you if you want to leave a car there for any length of time. Taking a private plane from KLMO would be pretty competitive except that the gate fees at DIA would quadruple the price.
    • RTD has quite good service to DIA. When I lived near Boulder I almost always took the bus to the airport. It makes few stops, runs regularly and is inexpensive. If you haven't looked into it, you should.

    • by Cerlyn ( 202990 )

      Echoing another commenter, you could have just taken the RTD Skyride bus service downtown (and to some other areas). It runs at least hourly, and more often during weekdays.

      The cost to/from downtown when I took it last year was $11 each way cash, or $20 for a round-trip ticket booklet (available at the RTD booth in the airport and probably a few other locations).

  • MCI (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rfengr ( 910026 ) on Saturday May 09, 2015 @08:57AM (#49653165)
    It just like in Kansas City where the asshole politicians want to rebuild what is the most convenient airport (for the local traveler) of anywhere in the country. You can be at your car in 1 minute from stepping off the plane. It's not about serving the citizenry, more about leeching taxes.
  • by psperl ( 1704658 ) on Saturday May 09, 2015 @09:08AM (#49653219) Homepage
    As a New Yorker, I much prefer LaGuardia, and strongly disagree with calls for its closing. As a small airport, it isn't burdened with its own size in terms of processing passengers. Everything at JFK takes longer than at LGA strictly because of magnitude.

    JFK is literally too big to provide efficient service to individuals. Once the check-in & security hurdle is cleared, one still has to walk nearly a mile to get to their actual gate. Once boarded, the plane has to taxi for minutes just to arrive at the runway, where you will likely have to queue for an additional wait to takeoff. As others have mentioned, I easily save at least 30 minutes by flying from LGA, when adding up travel, check-in, security, walking to the gate, taxi-ing, and runway queuing.

    I would love to see these large airports replaced with multiple smaller airports. A larger percentage of the population would have an airport nearby, and average travel times would be reduced significantly. It seems to me that planners are optimizing for everything except your personal experience when they design and advocate for mega-airports.
    • by sam1am ( 753369 ) on Saturday May 09, 2015 @10:07AM (#49653453)

      I would love to see these large airports replaced with multiple smaller airports. A larger percentage of the population would have an airport nearby, and average travel times would be reduced significantly. It seems to me that planners are optimizing for everything except your personal experience when they design and advocate for mega-airports.

      There is a challenge with replacing all large airports with smaller ones, when using a hub and spoke model. If you have smaller airports, you have fewer destinations, and fewer connecting flight options. NYC (DC, LA, SFO, Boston) as a gateway to the US from overseas makes some sense - lots of O/D traffic, and for those that want to continue onward, they can. I fly from my local smaller airport, which I love. And whenever I can, I use my smaller regional airport. But it doesn't always reduce travel time - it often increases it due to the need to connect for most destinations. In fact, it'll be faster for me to drive to JFK (two+ hours) for an upcoming trip to eliminate a nearly three hour flight and one hour connection - in the "wrong" direction.

    • by Idarubicin ( 579475 ) on Saturday May 09, 2015 @10:07AM (#49653459) Journal

      As a New Yorker, I much prefer LaGuardia, and strongly disagree with calls for its closing.

      The point is, I think, that in exchange for an improvement (real or hypothetical) in convenience for a small fraction of total air travellers, there is a substantial and arguably unnecessary burden of cost and inconvenience to the entire system (which is ultimately paid for out of everyone's pockets--and user experiences).

      I would love to see these large airports replaced with multiple smaller airports. A larger percentage of the population would have an airport nearby, and average travel times would be reduced significantly.

      Well no, it wouldn't. A fully-served point-to-point network with n nodes (cities served) has on the order of n squared links between nodes. The number of passengers desiring each direct link gets to be very small, very quick, meaning infrequent scheduled flights on small, underfilled, costly-per-seat aircraft. So what happens is that airlines adopt (to one extent or another) a hub-and-spoke model. Most direct point-to-point routings are dropped. If I want to fly from East Podunk, NY (POD) to Los Angeles, I can't get a direct flight POD-LAX. Instead, I get a hop to an airline's hub (JFK or ORD or DTW or wherever), and a connection from that hub to LA: POD-JFK-LAX, or POD-DTW-LAX, or POD-ORD-LAX.

      If I want to go to a destination served by a smaller airport (let's call it West Lemon, CA: LEM), then I'm taking three flights: spoke to hub, hub to hub, hub to spoke: POD-JFK-LAX-LEM. And each of those flights carries with it the time penalties associated with loading and unloading passengers and cargo, and a risk of delays or cancellations due to weather and other circumstances--plus the plain old waiting for connections, because service to and from the small airports at POD and LEM is infrequent.

      Worse still, all those little commuter flights linking the regional airports to the major hubs are going to take up gates and takeoff and landing slots at those busy airports, slowing down the whole system and/or pushing those less-important flights to less-desirable times of day. Taken all together, offering frequent (or even just daily) service to a lot of small airports is going to mean a lot more flights of a lot more smaller aircraft, and/or passengers frequently making multiple connections. It would be expensive per-seat and vulnerable to failures and delays.

      Now, La Guardia is an interesting case. Since it's right next to downtown New York, it draws a substantial number of departing or arriving passengers, and enjoys a kind-of-weird pseudo-hub status for historical reasons. Practically speaking, though, it means that there are effectively two hubs (LGA and JFK) or even three (if we count EWR) serving the same area, resulting in needless duplication of services. Routes that could enjoy frequent service with inexpensive (per-seat) full-sized jets get less-full or more-expensive aircraft, or less-frequent services divided between two or three New York destinations. Local New Yorkers enjoy the appearance of convenient, direct flights, at the cost of making the rest of the system a bit worse and a bit more expensive for everyone.

    • by sconeu ( 64226 )

      As an Angeleno, I feel the exact same way about Burbank vs. LAX.

      LAX is a fucking nightmare in every possible way, from the parking, to the TSA security theatre, to the insane traffic you have to fight just to get there.

      Flying in and out of BUR, I'm in and out of the airport in minimal time -- you usually don't even have a wait at the TSA checkpoint.

  • by ewhenn ( 647989 ) on Saturday May 09, 2015 @09:17AM (#49653251)
    New York's three airports, run by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, made about a half a billion dollars in profit last year. Why not use that money? Oh wait, they use it to pay for loss-making operations like the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown. New York City's mass-transit system is $15 billion short of what it needs to invest over the next five years. The state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority runs permanent deficits and depends on billions of dollars each year in tax subsidies to stay afloat. Personally I feel the rates for the mass-transit system should be raised to meet the financial demands of running that service. We'd have plenty of money to resolve the airport issue, *without* needing to worry about siphoning taxpayer dollars.
    • Don't raise the rates on public transportation

      They are intentionally just lower than the cost of driving on your own - if they were raised, I'd rent a car to drive where I need since that's cheaper (especially than taking LIRR trains on the weekend)
    • by Ichijo ( 607641 )

      Personally I feel the rates for the mass-transit system should be raised to meet the financial demands of running that service.

      That would increase demand for parking, making it even more of a nightmare than it is today.

      No, just raise the price of parking to market equilibrium. Besides fixing the parking problem without the need to build more parking garages, it would also increase demand for alternatives, making mass transit more cost-effective.

  • According to AirNav [airnav.com], La Guardia handles around 1013 aircraft operations a day; that's 1013 takeoffs and landings per day. Compare to JFK, [airnav.com] which handles 1232 aircraft operations a day with twice as many runways, or Newark, [airnav.com] with 1098 aircraft operations a day.

    The airport might suck and may or may not be inconvenient, but it is handling far more traffic than can be diverted to another existing airport. You could expand another existing airport to handle the excess traffic--but where? Teterboro? Caldwell in Essex County? Long Island Mac Arthur?

    And the entire industry is moving away from long haul flights to shorter regional hops, meaning traffic operations are only going to increase. So assuming you can just divert all the flights to JFK and Newark isn't going to work; split the number of flights between the two and now you have two airports handling about the same amount of traffic as LAX, [airnav.com] with 1741 flights/day. So even if we assume those airports can handle the increase in traffic, that pretty much will max out both airports and prevent future expansion.

    Hong Kong International took nearly a decade to construct, in a regulatory environment which makes it easy to steamroll in large infrastructure projects. So constructing a new airport near Rikers Island is not going to happen over a weekend.

    And if you did go the Hong Kong route, you may be better off spending the money, moving everything off Rikers Island, and expanding the airport by paving Rikers and adding two additional runways, modernizing La Guardia, and extending the subway system to run out to the terminals there.

    • So assuming you can just divert all the flights to JFK and Newark isn't going to work; split the number of flights between the two and now you have two airports handling about the same amount of traffic as LAX, [airnav.com] with 1741 flights/day.

      Any solution that involves emulating LAX is probably a mistake...

  • by astro ( 20275 )

    Don't hold Berlin airport as any kind of good example. It is a clusterfuck that may actually never open. Already years and billions beyond predictions.

    • Indeed. Please up-vote.
      The Airport could also have been built in a corrupt African developing country (or in Greece) and you wouldn't notice any difference.
      People outside Berlin couldn't care less if it was shuttered and never opened at all.
      But people in Berlin and Brandenburg (co-financers of the Airport) keep re-electing the very same politicians responsible for this fuckup, so the rest of Germany has to continue to pour money into it.
  • You used to be able to take the A train from JFK (if i remember properly, there was a shuttle bus to Aqueduct) it was surprising just how many business folks took that trip, even with the interesting clientell on the train. I think that was quashed when the airtrain was introduced. Lot of progress that was. Train to Jamaica and then subway. From LGA, the best bet is bus to grand central. I think it's about 15 bucks. I no longer live in NYC, but LGA is as was always the best choice if you were headed to manh

  • Given how bad the traffic is in and around NYC and New Jersey, as well as the bridges (thanks Gov Christie and flunkies), perhaps La Guardia can be re-purposed using smaller planes - on those smaller runways - to simply ferry people to/from JFK and Newark airports. :-)

  • which has been likened to an experience "in a third world country," won't solve its fundamental problems. "It can't easily expand," says Haikalis. "Its two runways and four terminals are surrounded on three sides by water, making landing difficult and hazardous. Parking is a nightmare."

    So, perfectly suited to New York City itself?

  • Lots of LaGuardia traffic is coming from cities like Boston and Washington that already connect to NYC via train

    Beef up and speed up the train service, it's probably cheaper than trying to fix LaGuardia

    • by jonwil ( 467024 )

      I bet if you had proper high speed rail (of the European or Japanese kind) linking Grand Central to Union Station in DC it would be FASTER than taking an airplane between those 2 cities.

      Not only that, taking the train has so many advantages over flying. The seats on any train I have ever been on have more legroom and space than economy class on even the best airlines. No need to pay through the nose for checked baggage or other addons. No need to be at the airport 3 hours before your flight (that will proba

  • There are precedents for replacing airports close to the center city with modern, more outlying airports.

    Sure. And there are precedents for expanding in-city airports bounded by water. Boston.

  • How will it be at all reasonable to shut down LGA and move traffic to EWR and JFK? Traffic is already a nightmare getting out of Manhattan and on the GCP/Van Wyck. The problem is getting people to the airports.

    It is a joke to try and take subways/buses to LGA. La Guardia and NYC need to make some hard and bold public policy choices to cut through a couple of neighborhoods, and make public transport more efficient to/from the airport.

    The level of infrastructure quality in our supposedly world-le
  • The thing I always hated about LaGuardia is that it is Taxi accessible only, I could never fathom why the N didn't get extended to resolve that. Other than doing that I think investing in LaGuardia is a mis-allocation of resources.

    Several Million People live in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, but to catch an airplane they need to drive past MacArthur/Islip Airport on their way to JFK or LaGuardia through rather intense traffic or take the Long Island Railroad (which may depending on when they're travelling and

  • "'Critics' say"? I only read one name on the article. So it's one guy's opinion. I fly in and out of LGA a lot and I've never had a negative reaction any worse than at any other airport. The biggest problem isn't the airport, as others have noted, it's ground transportation, which is not exactly a difficult engineering problem to solve. It is an unsolvable political-economic problem.
  • The summary is wrong. You would have to bump up the flights out of JFK and Newark by 50% to take the volume from LGA. That is no possible due to aircraft separation safety standards. The article states that if the FAA raises the cap on the number of flights at JFK and larger planes were used, then everything would be great. However, they CAN'T raise the cap because it is based on minimum separation for parallel runways that are closer together than 3600 feet. Also, you can't just dictate larger aircraft. Th
    • Fix up the train service to Boston and Washington, get the Boston run down to less than 3 hours. Probably half of LaGuardia's customers could get there in the same time on the train if it actually ran as it should. That way the air traffic in and out of New York is reduced while maintaining the same passenger service levels. One less airport, much more efficient trains. Win win all around.

  • Hydrogen filled, with a smoking room, of course.
  • Reduce the number of flights to what can be comfortably served by existing infrastructure. Reduce maximum planes size. Make it a domestic terminal for flights to several major airports where large, intercontinental flights depart.

    As I understand all the problems originate from too high traffic at various points and all of them would need to be expanded. So what if you instead reduced the traffic to the narrowest choke point size?

    Do build a large airport away from the city. If someone goes on a 14 hour fligh

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