Tuesday, July 8, 2014


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Federal Sandy aid for critical runway repairs at JFK, Laguardia airports

NEW YORK – The Federal Emergency Management Agency is awarding $11.5 million in federal funding to the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ) for Superstorm Sandy-impacted damage to both JFK and LaGuardia Airports’ arrestor bed technology designed to prevent aircraft from overrunning runways, known as Engineered Material Arresting System (EMAS). An estimated $8.24 million will go towards JFK Airport and an estimated $3.25 million will go towards LaGuardia Airport. 

PANYNJ operates and maintains infrastructure critical to the New York and New Jersey region's transportation network, including the city's airports. Damage from Superstorm Sandy has cost the PANYNJ $2 billion in repairs to return the agency’s airports, rail system, bridges and tunnels to service. 

“Superstorm Sandy damaged New York City’s widely-used airports and this federal funding will help ensure both LaGuardia and JFK Airports operate at peak safety,” said Sen Charles Schumer, who announced the funding with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. “I am pleased to announce this critical funding which will help restore the damage created by Hurricane Sandy needed to ensure the safety of our airports in the future.”

JFK and LaGuardia airports’ infrastructure suffered extreme flooding and damage from Superstorm Sandy. The storm surge combined with high tide flooded the airports' runways, damaging the airport's Engineered Material Arresting System (EMAS), technology designed to prevent aircraft from overrunning runways.

The EMAS bed is composed primarily of aerated concrete blocks and designed to collapse beneath the weight of an aircraft, facilitating an emergency stop safely and quickly at the end of the runway. Upon inspection, the FAA recommended immediate replacement due to the damages sustained.