Delays at New York’s area airports not only hurt the city’s standing in the global marketplace but also pollute nearby communities, according to a report by Comptroller Bill Thompson.
In a new report, “Grounded: The Impact of Mounting Flight Delays on New York City’s Economy & Environment” Thompson found that passengers at local airports in 2007 waited 3.9 million extra hours for planes to take off after leaving the gate. This extra taxi time causes travelers to lose $187 million worth of time.
The report also found that:
Increased delays and traffic at local airports come with steep environmental consequences for Queens neighborhoods and Jamaica Bay, Thompson said.
Large increases in flights in recent years, coupled with longer taxiing time, are adding to airport pollution. Thompson noted that the 70,000 additional annual take-offs and landings at the area’s three major airports in 2006 compared to 2000 are producing substantial additional amounts of volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxide, which react together to create ozone. New York City currently exceeds federal air quality standards for ozone.
“For residents of Queens neighborhoods such as Elmhurst, Corona, and Springfield Gardens, air pollution around the airports is a concern that can only grow as air traffic continues to rise as expected. The entire city should be concerned about the impact of more chemical deicers and other pollutants flowing into Jamaica Bay because of the enormous increase in flights at Kennedy Airport – up 14.4 percent from 2000 to 2006 and another 23.5 percent increase in 2007,” Thompson said.