New York’s JFK Closing Runway for Construction; Expect Delays

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For those traveling to/from/through New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, get ready for longer taxi times and potential ATC delays, as the airport will be closing one of their four runways starting this week. This is due to reconstruction which will widen the runway as well as convert it to concrete which lasts longer than asphalt.

Per the Port Authority,

The airport awarded the contract for the runway construction in November 2018 and the work commenced Monday. Runway 13L-31R will be closed for repaving that will widen the runway by 33 percent. The project will also allow the installation of new lights, signs, cables and navigational aids. Once completed, it will meet new safety standards and will incorporate the latest landing technology.

The rehabilitation will also provide aircraft a solid concrete runway that is more resilient than asphalt and will increase the useful life of the runway by four times. In addition, the creation of new high-speed taxiways will enable aircraft to exit the runway more quickly allow the runway handle more aircraft per hour at peak periods.

The decision to use concrete as opposed to asphalt for the runway project will reduce the number of construction days and extend its useful life to 40 years, instead of the typical asphalt lifespan of eight to 12 years

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has developed a strategic plan to manage aircraft traffic while Runway 13L is closed. The FAA is studying runway configuration, aircraft traffic flow rates and aircraft traffic management strategies to maximize efficiency and reduce delays at JFK.

The airline will work closely with the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey and the Federal Aviation Administration to manage aircraft traffic and maximize efficiency while Runway 13L is closed, however in reality I would brace yourself for delays during this time period until construction is complete.

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