JFK Airport Attempts to Recover from Blizzard as Delays Mount

By Anna Breuer on 6 January 2018
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Security checkpoint at JFK's Terminal 1

Security checkpoint at JFK’s Terminal 1

The powerful blizzard, which left over a dozen people dead in its wake and tens of thousands without power as temperatures plunged, wreaked havoc on New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, where passengers continued to experience long delays even after the skies cleared.

The storm resulted in scores of rescheduled flights, and aircraft and crew members that were out of position for their next flights, as well as checked luggage that clogged gate areas.

To make matters worse, two passenger planes collided on the tarmac on Saturday morning.

The wing of a China Southern plane grazed the tail of a Kuwait aircraft. No injuries were reported and all passengers were able to exit the planes without incident. The China Southern plane was being towed at the time.

As a result of the backlog and lack of space for passengers and their luggage, federal officials were forced to limit some flights into the airport Saturday night.

The Federal Aviation Administration said midday that three terminals at the airport, Terminals 1, 4, and 7, were at capacity, leaving insufficient gates for incoming flights. Terminals 1 and 7 are both used only for international traffic while Terminal 4 is home to 30 international airlines as well as Delta Air Lines, which operates both domestic and international flights from the facility.

Consequentially, the Port Authority said in a statement on Saturday it would “limit the arrival of flights into JFK Airport until there are adequate gates available,” later adding that the “continued bitter cold” weather has resulted in issues with ground equipment that were further contributing to the delays.

The backlog at the airport also created traffic congestion on the highways leading to JFK as those attempting to pick up passengers there were experiencing extended wait times.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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