A new advocacy group, Gateway Global Alliance, has formed to
lobby for funds to upgrade the New York area's three major airports.
The alliance is composed of business, labor and civic representatives.
Joe Sitt, CEO of real estate developer Thor Equities, is the alliance's founder
The Gateway Global Alliance said it formed because a
Partnership for New York City study indicated that the declining state of local
airports could cost local economies $79 billion by 2025, including more than
$16 billion in lost revenue and $5.5 billion in lost wages.
The group is looking at short-term and long-term solutions.
These include money to redevelop LaGuardia's Central Terminal, improved access
to the airports and an additional runway at JFK. Other goals are making
security screening more efficient and fully implementing the FAA's NextGen
technology for New York's airports.
"New York is a global gateway, but the level of
attention and the investment we have given to our airports doesn't create the
kind of reputation necessary to ensure we realize their full economic potential
for the region," said Sitt.
"We can either sit by and watch billions of dollars in
lost revenue and economic growth fly right by, or we can take aggressive action
to once again make New York's airports the best in the world. We're choosing
Other members of the alliance's board of directors are
Joseph Spinnato, president of the Hotel Association of New York City; David
Hopkins, director of aviation at the New York City Economic Development Corp.;
Kathryn Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City; and Mitchell
Moss, Henry Hart Rice professor of urban policy and planning at the Robert F.
Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University.
The report originally was published by Travel Weekly.