JFK, Newark airports see spike in passengers for first half of 2017, Port Authority says

Almost 63.6 million travelers used Port Authority airports in New York and New Jersey during the first six months of 2017 and officials expect to post record-breaking numbers for the fifth straight year.

The biggest jump was seen at Newark Liberty International Airport, which hosted 20.9 million passengers between January and June, compared to 19.3 million passengers in the same time period in 2016.

John F. Kennedy International Airport set a record with more than 28.5 million passengers for the first half of 2017, Port Authority said. In the first half of 2016, the airport saw 28 million passengers.

And even LaGuardia Airport, which has been plagued by crippling traffic and construction issues, only showed a small drop in passengers — about 14 million compared with 14.3 million during the first six months of 2016.

Stewart Airport in upstate Orange County saw a 10 percent jump in passengers because of an increase in flights.

Officials said the higher numbers at Newark Liberty are the result of federal restrictions on the number of departures and arrivals during peak times being relaxed.

“The Port Authority long has encouraged increased competition at all its airports and the recent sharp price declines at Newark Liberty show how making more airlines and destination options available serves our customers best,’’ said Huntley Lawrence, the Port Authority’s aviation director, in a statement.