Let’s start with a joke, in the form of a press release from the Port Authority of New York, which controls New York City airports.
The Port Authority is committed to providing the highest standard of service to all travelers, and the series of events following the winter storm this month were completely unacceptable.
Forgive my cynicism, but New York City airports are akin to the choice expletive the President used in a recent cabinet meeting.
So when the Port Authority says–
We are committed to understanding where and why failures occurred, and making whatever changes are necessary to assure these failures never happen again.
I’m not sold.
In addition the “bomb cyclone” storm, did you know a water pipe burst at JFK last week leaving the customs facility and baggage area in the main international terminal (4) flooded by three inches water?
Enter former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. He will be leading an investigation into the breakdowns that led to mess that JFK has still not recovered from. 5,000 bags are still sitting in the flooded terminal. His investigation will cover “all phases” of the incident.
Here’s why I am so cynical. The problem is not something that can be fixed through better management. Rather, it is a far deeper structural problem.
JFK is falling apart. It’s an old airport in a confined space that has far outgrown itself. Think about the zoo I described in T4 before a recent flight. I’m told this is just daily life at JFK. And how can an investigation stop a pipe from exploding? They should probably all be replaced…but that requires a huge investment. Where’s the money when the city has so many other needs?
> Read More: Mayhem at JFK: Terminal 4 Security Line
Maybe I should just hush up and see if the LaHood investigation can yield any fruit. But you can understand why I have my doubts…