Finally, the stats to back up what we know: NYC area airports have had more delays so far this year than in 2006. New data from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics shows that delays have increased by 140.6% at JFK Airport, when comparing April 2007 to April 2006. The delays at LaGuardia are up by approxmiately 35% and delays at Newark are up by 21%.
Senator Charles Schumer says that labor disputes between the FAA and air traffic controllers are hurting customers, because many air traffic control towers are understaffed: "You sit on the runway all hours; the weather is fine, and there isn't an unusual increase in the number of flights. Yet you sit and sit and sit." The National Air Traffic Controllers Association told the AP that 100 controllers have quit since the FAA imposed a contract when the negotiations broke down. Schumer will propose a bill to force both sides to negotiate again, because he thinks the problem will get worse.
And airplane-related: Lightning hit a JetBlue plane flying from Rochester to JFK, causing a smell similar to a fire in the cabin. The plane made an emergency landing at JFK - which means they got to land before other planes - safely and no injuries were reported. The passengers got there 20 minutes early, according to a JetBlue spokesperson.
Photograph by Tina Gao on Flickr