Today’s news:

Port Authority reduces queues on runways at JFK Airport

The Port Authority has approved $60 million for studies on the modernization of LaGuardia Airport’s Central Terminal building and a project to reduce delays at Newark Liberty International Airport. The PA, meanwhile, opened a new welcome center this week at LaGuardia to greet arriving passengers.

The PA board’s approval last week advanced the second phase of the study to develop and modernize LaGuardia’s Central Terminal, which handles half of the airport’s 24 million annual passengers.

The $40 million study is expected to be completed in 2010. No date for the opening of the refurbished terminal has been announced.

The terminal building was built 45 years ago.

Other steps recently taken by the Port Authority board include two at John F. Kennedy International Airport:

• A project to implement a Global Positioning System−like device at John F. Kennedy International Airport to better track aircraft on the ground, which will decrease travel times between the airfield and passenger terminals, and

• A program of taxiway improvements at JFK to reduce waiting times and improve queuing procedures and improvements to taxiway intersections at Newark Liberty that will enhance operating efficiency and reduce taxi times.

The authority board also approved an additional $19 million for navigational aids and other improvements at Newark Liberty, which will make possible more arrivals during inclement weather by improving the ability of jetliners to operate in low visibility conditions.

Port Authority Board Chairman Anthony Coscia said: “These board actions reflect the agency’s commitment, first and foremost, to improving the travel experience for our customers. We are also calling on the federal government to put customers first, by modernizing the air traffic control system and implementing the recommendations of our flight delay task force.”

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