LaGuardia airport's long list of maladies isn't confined to its rank terminal, it seems. According to pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, its runways are notoriously stubby, making it difficult to land or takeoff without plunging into the East River or Flushing Bay. Commit this to memory for your next flight.
Sullenberger, whom you recall in association with 2009's Miracle on the Hudson, told 77-WABC radio host Yitzchok Saftlas that he was disappointed to learn that plans for a $4 billion makeover do not include lengthening the 7,000-foot-long runways—the average runway length to accommodate commercial airplanes is 8,000 feet.
“I’m sure it would be difficult and expensive, but there have been more difficult challenges taken up around the world,” he said. “You must fly the approach very accurately, very well. You must have the airplane flight path exactly aligned with the runway...You must touch down at the right altitude at the right speed to allow all that to happen."
He also reaffirmed the danger of drones
in the airspace, warning of the severe consequences of a collision with even the tiniest device.
“We have seen what a six-pound or an eight-pound bird can do to bring down an airplane,” Sullenberger told Fortune. “Imagine what a device containing hard parts like batteries and motors can do that might weigh 25 or possibly up to 55 pounds to bring down an airplane. It is not a matter of if it will happen. It is a matter of when it will happen.”