A Study of the Port of New York Authority

By Frederick L. Bird | Go to book overview
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Chapter Twelve
AIR TERMINAL UNIFICATION in the PORT DISTRICT

AGREEMENTS signed by the Port Authority in 1947 with the Cities of New York and Newark to undertake the financing, development and operation of their airports may well prove to have been one of the most fortunate arrangements in the economic history of the Port of New York. The air terminal facilities in the port have been utterly inadequate to accommodate the growing air transportation industry, and still less well equipped to encourage its development; the cities are in no position to finance the capital requirements of a forward-looking air terminal program; and the need for unified regional sponsorship, as a constructive alternative to local rivalry, is particularly important for the administration and operation of air terminals.

Under these agreements, which, in effect, run for a term of fifty years, the planning, financing and operation of the major commercial airports in the Port District are the responsibility of The Port of New York Authority. The Port Authority assumed control of LaGuardia Airport and the partially constructed New York International Airport on June 1, 1947, and of Newark Airport on March 22, 1948. LaGuardia, which has been handling traffic up to 50 per cent in excess of its normal capacity while the eastern portion of the field has been gradually sinking into the waters of Flushing Bay, is being completely rehabilitated by the Authority. New York International, opened for operation on July 1, 1948, is a fabulously huge undertaking. It will be able to handle at least a thousand scheduled commercial plane movements a day, and its vast area, nearly nine times that of LaGuardia, makes hundreds of acres available for lease to airlines for maintenance and overhaul bases and to industries related

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