From March 1 through July 1, New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) will be shutting down its largest runway for construction, leaving just three out of four runways operational. The 14,572-foot-long strip – which doubles as a backup for the space shuttle – will be resurfaced with harder concrete, new taxiways, and better lighting. One of the busiest hubs in the nation, JFK is also one of the most frequently congested – ranking third on a list (published last summer) of the overall worst offenders, with an average of 26 percent of departing flights and 30 percent of arrivals turning up late. Naturally, air traffic controllers are concerned that the closure will prompt major clogs that could set off a snowball effect on delays across the skies. Expecting such conflicts to occur, some major carriers, like JetBlue, are scaling back flights during the period and allotting extra time between connections. Word on the street is the FAA has a “plan” to keep things running smoothly . . . but if there’s one thing flyers can always count on, it’s for the unexpected to occur!
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