Singapore Airlines Restores World’s Longest Non-Stop Flight to Newark

By Christine Cassidy, Media Relations Staff

More than 1,100 flights a day find their way into and out of Newark Liberty International, one of the country’s busiest airports. But none compares to the one that touched down shortly before dawn last week.

Singapore Airlines’ A350-900 ULR, reclaiming its status as the world’s longest non-stop flight after a five-year absence, landed just after 6 a.m. on October 11, more than 19 hours after taking off from Singapore’s Changi Airport. The aptly named ULR, which stands for Ultra-Long Range, arrived to great fanfare at Newark Liberty, where it was welcomed by airline officials and employees and Port Authority Aviation Director Huntley Lawrence.

It wasn’t the first time Singapore Airlines had scheduled this extended non-stop flight to Newark. They were routine between 2004 and 2013, before the cost of fuel forced the airline to shelve the service. The new, bigger plane, the airline says, consumes 25-percent less fuel than similar earlier models.

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The A350-900 ULR, moments after arrival

Tickets go for about $5,000 round trip. It includes a continual supply of food and beverages, free WIFI and other amenities. Seats on the new jumbo jet, which was built for this route, are large and comfortable, and comfort is something a passenger on a 19-plus hour flight would certainly desire.

The flight has no economy seats. Instead, it has 94 more-spacious premium economy and 67 business class seats, which can fold out into a bed. Starting next week, the carrier will offer daily flights from Singapore to Newark, once a second Airbus A350-900ULR aircraft is delivered.

Posted in aviation, first nonstop flights, Newark, Newark Liberty International Airport, Uncategorized

Port Authority Goes Pink For Breast Cancer Awareness Month

By Rudy King, Media Relations Staff

From the top of the George Washington Bridge to concourses of the busy Midtown bus terminal and LaGuardia Airport, the Port Authority has gone pink for October in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the impact it’s left on the agency, its people and their families.

For the past decade, electricians at the GWB have teamed to string a necklace of LED lights along the bridge’s cables, a display that went live on the south side of the bridge on Oct. 1. The gel-lighting network – composed of pink transparent coverings with the names of breast cancer victims fitted over regular lights – was the brainchild of GWB electrician Chris Bonanno, in tribute to his sister who contracted the disease more than a decade ago.

“We’re doing everything we can to make a difference, and praying that one day they won’t have to do this because a cure was found,” he said.

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Photo Credit: NJ.com

Breast Cancer Awareness Month was established to raise awareness about the scourge of breast cancer in the United States. It’s the second-leading killer of women, after lung cancer, with more than 260,000 cases of invasive breast cancer expected to be diagnosed in U.S. women this year, according to the American Cancer Society.

At both the Port Authority Bus Terminal and LaGuardia’s Marine Air Terminal, pink- ribbon decals decorate facility floors. PABT Physical Plant Manager Robert Doeg noted that the bus terminal is supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month for a second year with the installation of the Port Authority custom-made logo in the building’s South Wing. Doeg said the PABT wanted to do something special, following in the tradition established at the GWB.

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The PABT team and the decorative decal marking Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Asked what this installation means to his team and to him personally, Doeg paused for a moment, then said, “We’ve had and have staff, family and friends who’ve been impacted by the disease. So it’s very personal to us and a very big deal.”

“Being able to contribute towards this great cause makes us feel good that we can help bring awareness and give back,” he said.

In addition to the displays at the GWB, PABT and LaGuardia, Breast Cancer Awareness Month events and lighting programs have been taking place at the FAA control tower at John F. Kennedy International Airport, at Newark Liberty International Airport and at PATH.

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The Marine Air Terminal display at LaGuardia

Members of the Port Authority Police Department Women’s Law Enforcement Association are wearing blue and pink bands around their shields as a sign of support for colleagues and loved ones affected by breast cancer, the third year they’ve done so. As in the previous years, the association is working with other area police departments to raise money by selling the bands, with the proceeds going to Gilda’s Club, an organization that benefits cancer patients.

Posted in breast cancer, breast cancer awareness, GWB, LaGuardia Airport, PABT, Uncategorized

FOD for Thought

Removing Debris a Billion-Dollar Job for Global Airports

By Alana Calmi, Media Relations Staff

When you think of airports, you usually associate them with aircraft, the airlines that fly them, big terminals and long taxi queues.

But there’s much more to an airport than meets the eye. On an average day, thousands of employees at airports across the world are devoted to the removal of debris from runways, taxiways, roadways and other facility property.

The Federal Aviation Administration has a name for it – FOD, for Foreign Object Debris. It covers any object located in an inappropriate airport location with the capacity to injure airport or air carrier personnel and damage aircraft. It’s not simple, or inexpensive, to keep air facilities clear of FOD. The annual direct and indirect costs in damaged equipment, flight delays, reduced efficiency and litigation run into the billions.

What qualifies as FOD ranges from building materials, fragments of broken pavement and general litter to birds, wildlife and stray animals. FOD can lead to blown-out tires at high speeds, debris being sucked into an engine, and even damage to components of ground-handling equipment, such as baggage tugs and shuttle buses.

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Port Authority staffers and volunteers keeping JFK FOD-free

John F. Kennedy International and the Port Authority’s other airports, large and small, are not immune. The area surrounding JFK is diverse, with an ecosystem comprising various types of vegetation and animal life. Every year in June and July, JFK is inundated with hundreds of Diamondback terrapins seeking sandy areas to lay their eggs.

“While this isn’t the most conventional task, it is vital to maintaining an incident-free airport,” said Laura Francoeur, the Port Authority’s chief wildlife biologist.

One constant concern for Port Authority airports is birds flying into active airspace, with strikes ranging from a small bird hitting a windshield to an engine ingesting a flock. Most famously, the miraculous emergency landing of US Airways 1549 on the Hudson River in January 2009 came after a flock of geese were sucked into the plane’s engines, causing massive engine failure.

Port Authority maintenance crews check the airfield twice per shift for any objects or debris ranging from the turtles, to nuts and bolts and sometimes raccoons, and along the perimeter—they call it PM, or a preventative maintenance routine. Litter retrieval and disposal also covers the vehicle service roads, ramps and the air operations area.

Airport terminal operators are responsible for airside space they occupy, which includes collecting and handling any FOD found. Each tenant is required to place containers labeled “Foreign Object Debris” at gates, remote aircraft parking area, cargo and maintenance facilities.

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The local community does its share, participating in FOD cleanup days organized by the Port Authority. Several times a year, the agency’s cleanup days are open to anyone over the age of 16 and typically involve cleaning up the beach area of Jamaica Bay as well as around cargo buildings.

“The preventative measures we take at Port Authority airports are to protect critical aircraft machinery and maintenance processes by reducing the risk of FOD events,” said Teri Rizzuto, manager of airport operations at JFK. “It’s really important for the airport community to have an opportunity to get involved.”

Photo Credit: Jeff Yapalater

Posted in Uncategorized