Monday, March 16, 2009

Newark and LaGuardia Airports

(Pictures taken from

These are two of the 3 airports serving New York City and its surrounding cities and states. The third airport is JFK airport and it’s far from NY City proper. Newark Liberty is in New Jersey, just across the Hudson (?) river fronting NY City, while LaGuardia is the nearest to Manhattan. LaGuardia is the smallest of the 3, serving mainly (if not entirely) domestic flights, and it’s very busy, maybe because of its smaller facilities.

On my recent trip to NY early this month, I arrived at Newark Liberty airport (Manila-Nagoya-Detroit-Newark), and departed at LaGuardia (LaGuardia-Detroit-Nagoya-Manila). On my return flight, our plane left LaGuardia gate on time, but it took us about 35 minutes to finally take off. Not because of bad weather or other factors, but because of the long queu of planes landing and taking off. I heard our plane pilot announcing something like we’re number 14 of the planes landing and taking off. I saw something like 5 consecutive landings, then consecutive take offs, the space between planes taking off is about 2:10 minutes. When our plane was about to take off, I saw 10 planes queuing behind us! 9 on the right side, 1 on the left.

A Filipino friend whose hobbies included flying small airplanes, Sam Aherrera, made this short observation:

“All major airports -- detroit, chicago, reagan in dc, lax, boston, dulles in Virginia -- have multiple landing and take-off. NY and NJ airports are more critical, not so much because of so many planes, but because they’re very close to each other with multiple landing and taking off. That air corridor could be one of the most dangerous (in the world). The air traffic controllers there could have hypertension because they’re always on the edge in air traffic. Whenever I go to Boston from Virginia, I pass jersey and new york along I-95 North and am always amazed at the abilities of the traffic controllers and the pilots who must coordinate very well in this very tight airspace. And imagine this air traffic when flying in bad weather!”

No comments: