Newark Liberty International Airport might not have LaGuardia's bespoke crumbling aesthetic or JFK's Kafkaesque Customs line, but what Newark does have are a million delays, plus it's in New Jersey. That latter flaw can't be helped, but it's possible the former will see some relief soon, thanks to a recent change in Federal Aviation Administration rules that will allow more flights at the airport.
Yesterday, the FAA announced they were lifting limits placed on the airport in 2008 that only allowed up to 81 flights per hour. This change, which re-designated Newark as a “schedule-facilitated,” Level 2 airport as opposed to a “slot-controlled,” Level 3 airport, is expected to drum up competition among air carriers, theoretically making flights cheaper, offering more options to passengers, and, IF WE'RE LUCKY, limiting delays.
Air travel advocacy group the Global Gateway Alliance was pleased. "We have long called for an end to the arbitrary restrictions imposed on the region's airports by antiquated slot rules, and the FAA's decision to lift the rules at Newark will pave the way for greater competition at the airport," chairman Joe Sitt said in a statement yesterday.
While this is a supposed win for passengers, poor United Airlines seems to be getting the shaft—they'll probably have to give up a bunch of the slots they've been hoarding, with the Wall Street Journal reporting they and their commuter partners accounted for over half of the airport's passengers last year. The good news is that more (and perhaps cheaper!) airlines will get playtime, with JetBlue and Southwest among those in talks to expand to Newark. Of course, fewer delays mean less time spent at the airport's very sad CBGB Restaurant, but you win some, you lose some.