leader1 wrote:A few things I should clear up because there is a lot of erroneous information on this thread. Lots of posts seem to be in dreamland here with no basis in reality.
First of all, EWR is not slot-controlled anymore. It used to be, but the FAA relaxed them because the delay situation improved enough and they were getting concerned that UA had a monopoly and new carriers were more or less blocked from entering. EWR is still monitored as it is a Level 2 Slot Coordinated airport, which means the FAA has to review and approve all schedules. So, while not officially slot-controlled, it is still regulated and they’re not going to allow things to go out of control like they were before. Last I heard, they wanted to keep flights per hour in the 74-76 range.
Also, EWR is not getting a new runway. Period. Let’s put this to bed right now. When I worked at PANYNJ (specifically on EWR capital projects), there were no plans to add a new runway then and I haven’t heard of any plans to add one since I left. The RPA proposal is just urbanist fantasy that will most likely never see fruition. Granted, RPA does get some funding from PANYNJ, but much of what they propose has no basis in reality. Other than the new terminal, some facility improvements, taxiway and runway repairs and the new end-arounds, there won’t be much else done to improve airside capacity. The end-arounds will improve ground movement so arriving planes won’t have to cross the departure runway, but it won’t do anything to increase the airport’s capacity. Which leads me to...
And even if EWR does get a new runway, it won’t be all that useful because of the surrounding airspace. NYC airspace is complex in that you have several major airports that are within 20 miles or less of each other. With regards to EWR, you have TEB up north and LGA’s airspace which starts along the Hudson River to the east. This severely impacts what ATC can do with regards to moving the planes in and out of the airport. For instance, because LGA’s airspace is so close to the east, you can’t have parallel arrivals because there’s just one approach path that leads to the airport. EWR does have procedures that allow staggered approaches on the 4s, but they’re rarely used because it would interfere too much with departing traffic and arrival and departing traffic are generally evenly balanced throughout the day. That’s just one example of the ATC limitations at EWR - there are many others.
And EWR’s airfield layout is terrible and can’t realistically accommodate that many more flights. The main parallels are too close together and then you have the airspace issues that I highlighted above. The traffic level before this pandemic is probably what you will see in the future, if it ever returns. Even if you add more gates, not much else can be done with the current layout that will lead to an increase in flights. Even in good weather conditions, the airport often runs on a Ground Delay Program (GDP), which is almost everyday!
I 100% agree. Is there plans for new ATC that can deal with NY airspace better?