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Expect flight delays at LaGuardia, JFK and Newark, group says

LaGuardia Airport was the second worst of the

LaGuardia Airport was the second worst of the metropolitan area airports in summertime on-time performance, according to the Global Gateway Alliance. Above, a plane takes off at LaGuardia on Feb. 25, 2015. Credit: Uli Seit

Passengers going through the New York City area’s three major airports this summer are more likely to experience flight delays than most other U.S. airports, an advocacy group said Wednesday.

Data from the past five summers shows Newark finished in last place among 29 major airports, with a combined arrival and departure on-time rate of 68 percent, according to the Global Gateway Alliance. Newark was the only airport to average an on-time performance rate below 70 percent, the groups said.

LaGuardia was second worst of the metro area airports, ranking 23rd nationwide with 74 percent of flights departing and arriving on time, and Kennedy Airport had the highest on-time performance rate of the metro area airports at 75 percent, ranking 22nd, the group said.

Besides Newark, the only other airports with a higher percentage of delays were Washington, D.C., Baltimore, San Francisco, and O’Hare and Midway airports in Chicago. Salt Lake City, Utah, had the best on-time performance in the summer with 87 percent.

The Global Gateway Alliance, which advocates for airport improvements in the New York area, said it based its findings on data from June, July and August between 2011 and 2015.

Those delays dealt only with flights, and did not factor in any delays to passengers waiting in line to get through security screening before departure.

“Passengers flying through our airports are getting held up at every turn and with the busy summer period ahead, delays will only get worse,” Joe Sitt, chairman of the group, said in a statement.

“It is past time for Congress to fully fund the rollout of the NextGen air traffic control system here in the New York region where it’s most needed, because delays are bad for passengers, the airports and our reputation, hurting our economy in the long term,” he said.

NextGen is billed as a major overhaul of the national airspace by the Federal Aviation Administration and aims to replace World War II-era, radar-based air traffic control with more efficient GPS technology.

The status of the project was not immediately known. The FAA did not comment directly, but said the status of the project was on its website at

The FAA website said that “Achieving all NextGen future benefits is dependent upon full funding of FAA’s 2015 budget requests from 2015-2019.”

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