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Not going anywhere for a while? You might be flying out of the New Jersey area

Newark Liberty International Airport was among the worst airports for tarmac delays, a new study found.-(THINKSTOCK)

The Global Gateway Alliance has released a new study on airport tarmac delays, and — of course — there’s bad news for New Jersey fliers.The New York and New Jersey area airports managed a clean sweep of the top of the leaderboard when it comes to how often passengers are left sitting on the runway, waiting to take off or get to a gate after landing. La Guardia, John F. Kennedy International and Newark Liberty International came in 1-2-3 in terms of percentage of flights in 2014 that suffered a tarmac delay of between one and five hours.

(Don’t fret, South Jerseyans, Philadelphia’s airport ranked fifth, so you won’t have to feel left out.)

“Our airports are the first and last impression travelers have of this region, and it is unconscionable that so many passengers’ impressions include getting stuck on the runway for hours on end,” Joe Sitt, founder and chairman of Global Gateway Alliance, said in a prepared statement. “It is past time for the FAA to step up and prioritize the rollout of NextGen (technology) in the New York airspace for the 117 million passengers who deserve better.”

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While Chicago’s O’Hare International had the most flights delayed, with 3,679, that was only good for fourth place when the total number of flights was taken into account. At La Guardia, 0.68 percent of flights were affected, with JFK the only other airport with more than half a percentage point of flights affected, at 0.63 percent. Newark and O’Hare had 0.42 percent affected, and Philly saw 0.37 percent delayed.

That meant nearly 7,000 flights and 660,000 passengers faced delays of more than an hour at the three main New York and New Jersey airports.

In terms of total number of flights delayed — behind O’Hare — JFK ranked second, La Guardia third and Newark fifth, with Philadelphia sixth. (Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International ranked fourth.)

The FAA considers 61 to 300 minutes in its statistics, with delays of more than 180 minutes considered “extreme” delays.

When it comes to these agonizingly long waits, JFK came in first this time, with 21 flights facing extreme delays totaling more than 63 hours. Newark ranked second, with 16 flights suffering three- to five-hour delays, and Philadelphia ranked third, with nine extreme delays.

On the bright side, La Guardia, despite having more than 2,400 overall flights suffer tarmac delays, only saw one suffer an extreme wait, at the minimum 181 minutes.

Global Gateway Alliance is a group established to address the challenges facing the New York/New Jersey region’s airports and their related infrastructure.


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