So...given how much the economy, and especially the airline industry in general, can fluctuate in just a few years, what makes anyone think that in 2006 JFK and LGA will still be in the dumps? With all due respect to AA's excellent cost-cutting moves, they would have been stupid in the long term to cancel their terminal project after Sept. 11th even if its progress had been half of what it is now.
September 11th was not the end of the world for either New York or JFK/LGA. Give the region and the airports a few years...there's an excellent chance nobody would even think of writing an article like this come the middle of the decade or so.
Soon after September 11th DL cancelled its plans for a new terminal at JFK. As we can presume that the people at DL and AA are equally as competent when it comes to forecasting business conditions, I'd say it's a resonable conclusion that AA continued with its terminal plans because the work was past the point of no return, not because they foresee a big increase in business at JFK. That's scarcely a ringing endorsement for the airport.
As far as New York's recovery after September 11th is concerned, Crains seems to think that a complete return to normal is many years off, and of course will greatly lag the nationwide recovery. While some segments of the economy (the article cites Broadway as a prime example) are well on their way to recovery, other segments have a long way to go ... and the airports are, unfortunately, in the latter category. It hasn't helped that while Bush and Congress promised New York all the financial help it needed right after September 11th, they've since gotten much stingier. The latest federal assistance proposal is only $20 billion, which is so low compared to what's really needed as to be almost insulting. In addition, there's a big "time bomb," so to speak, involving what may be hundreds of thousands of people in the city with emotional trauma caused by the events of September 11th. Many of them are acting fine now, but can find themselves falling apart - some descending into severe mental illness or even becoming suicidal - months or years from now. I hardly expect people in that category to be any too willing to fly, to say the least.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"