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Could We See an Entirely Rebuilt EWR?

EWR Airport parking

Newark Airport opened back in 1928 and was the first airport to serve the New York metro area. Over the years, EWR has seen a variety of changes and additions, but in a new plan proposed by the Regional Plan Association, the airport could see its biggest renovation yet.

Here, our EWR Airport parking company shares a news article by Larry Higgs from nj.com:

“A radical plan was proposed Monday to expand Newark Liberty International Airport to handle future air traffic growth and larger aircraft by tearing the old airport down and building a new one over the next four decades.

A $20 billion airport proposal introduced by the Regional Plan Association Monday would do that in four phases over a 40-year period.

The plan calls for systematically demolishing the oldest terminals one-at-a-time and replacing them with three “mid-field concourse” terminals, built in between the two existing runways and a proposed third runway next to Routes 1&9.

“We will have to move things around to make these fit”, said Richard Barone, RPA director of transportation at a City Hall press conference with Newark Mayor Ras Baraka to announce the plan. “It is critical to get a third runway.”

Last year, the airport handled a record setting 43.4 million passengers. But that came with a price, the airport was ranked deadlast for on-time performance and canceled flights. Under this plan, Newark Airport could handle up to 100 flight operations an hour with a minimal delay

Building a new runway could serve up to 69 million air passengers annually by 2060, RPA said. The new runway would be one of the last facilities built. The plan provides space for a future fourth runway.

Passengers would access the terminals through a “head house” to be built near the Budweiser brewery on Routes 1&9, under the RPA plan. The head house would handle passenger check-in, luggage and security. An automated “people mover” train would take passengers to the terminals. It would have short-term parking and the ability to handle 100 intercity and commuter buses.

It also would serve as a new airport train station to serve NJ Transit, Amtrak and PATH trains as well as direct interstate Trans-Regional Express trains proposed in a different RPA plan. Passengers could walk directly from the train station to the head house under the plan.

Baraka praised the proposal at a City Hall forum, saying it would help one of the city’s more economically disadvantaged neighborhoods and the region.

Placing the headquarters on the Northeast Corridor puts airport jobs, in addition to commuter rail, PATH and bus transportation in walking distance of the Dayton neighborhood in the city’s south ward.

“This hits the nail on the head,” Baraka said. “It repairs a historic neighborhood and give an opportunity for thousands of people to have direct access to jobs.

The airport proposal is part of RPA’s larger Fourth Master Plan, introduced in April, which featured many visionary transportation, development and environmental ideas to be accomplished over the course of several decades.

The Newark Airport proposal is part of a larger $50 billion upgrade of the three metropolitan area airports to make to them “World Class.” That plan would also close Teterboro Airport and shift its operations to Newark and other airports. Newark is the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s second largest airport in the region.

How will they pay for it?

One suggestion is to raise the Passenger Facility Charge that hasn’t been increased since 2003.

The Port Authority also could use airport revenue to improve facilities instead of subsidizing other operations, said Tom Wright, RPA executive director. The RPA also suggested using future federal Airport Improvement Funding and other state and local grants.

RPA’s proposal would also build an interim replacement for the aging AirTrain monorail until a transit style-people mover ultimately would transport passengers between the head house and the main airport terminal.

Cargo operations from the old airport would be moved to a new site directly south of the new Terminal A.”

What do you think of this idea? Would a newly built Newark Airport help accommodate more travelers? Do you think there’s another way to create efficiency without getting rid of the current airport? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

*Photo courtesy of nj.com