New York Airports Report Poor Record in On-Time Arrivals

The three major airports in the New York area have the worst record for on-time arrivals out of the nation's 33 busiest airports, local media reported Monday, citing newly released findings.

The poor record marked for the first time LaGuardia, Kennedy International and Newark International, the three airports are the worst in the country for late arrivals, according to data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

The data show that 33 percent of flights to LaGuardia between January and September 2005 were late. It earned the second to last spot, one spot lower than in 2004.

Kennedy saw 30 percent of flights arrive late, placing it 31st of 33. Newark ranked last with 34 percent of arrivals late.

Greg Martin, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), said the bureau's data do not tell the complete picture about delays.

One problem is bad weather, which creates delays aimed at safety that cannot be avoided. He also said the FAA has recently increased the air space on popular routes around New York to reduce traffic.

But New York state senator Charles Schumer said the flights can only blame a portion of their late arrivals and departures on bad weather. He said the ways the FAA and air traffic controllers manage air traffic, as well as heavy volume and airport operations, contribute to the problem.

"This hurts New York," Schumer said, adding that slow airports discourage tourists and businesses. "When people know they have a long wait they're less inclined to come here and do business."

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