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NYC area airports saw a record 137.9M passengers in 2018, Port Authority says

And that was nearly a 4% increase over the record number in 2017.

LaGuardia Airport saw a 2.3 percent increase in

LaGuardia Airport saw a 2.3 percent increase in the number of passengers in 2018, the Port Authority said.  Photo Credit: Corey Sipkin

The four main airports run by the Port Authority — Kennedy, LaGuardia, Newark Liberty and Stewart — handled 137.9 million passengers in 2018, an increase of 3.8 percent that breaks the record set the year before.

Newark saw an increase of 6.3 percent, Kennedy 2.5 percent, LaGuardia 2.3 percent — and upstate Stewart 44.2 percent, the Port Authority, which runs the airports, said Thursday in a news release. The increase at Stewart was fueled by the rise of cheap, nonstop service overseas by Norwegian Air, the Port Authority said.

Told about the increases, Paul Hudson, president of passenger group Flyers Rights and a member of the Federal Aviation Administration’s rule-making advisory committee, said he is concerned about the airports’ ability to handle the increasing passenger numbers.

He said that the Port Authority's renovation plans — including those at LaGuardia to remodel terminals of such condition that former Vice President Joe Biden likened to the “Third World” — do not adequately address capacity.

“You can have fancy terminals and better parking, but if the runways are the same,” he said, “the congestion will remain — and in fact it will increase, because more people will be able to get to the airports but they won’t be able to get out of the airports.”

He'd like to see improvements like an additional airport and easier ways to move between the airports in case of delays.

In November, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the opening of a remodeled eastern concourse of LaGuardia Terminal B, a $4 billion construction project.

The project is part of the Port Authority's $8 billion rehab of the airport, which will extend to other terminals. The plan calls for new buildings spanning 2.7 million square feet, 72 new gates and six new concourses.

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