New York – The Board of Commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has approved a $355 million project for the rehabilitation of Runway 13L-31R at John F. Kennedy International Airport and the addition of a new high-speed taxiway, part of a package of state-of-good-repair and system-enhancing projects to improve airport travel.

The 10,000-foot-long runway, which runs east/west on the airport’s north side and handles almost half of JFK’s arriving planes, is being built with concrete for longer- term durability that will minimize future operational impacts.

“Runway rehabilitation is an essential part of the Port Authority’s state-of-good-repair initiatives at its airports and our continuing efforts to ensure world-class operations,’’ said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “This infrastructure investment will enhance the efficiency of aircraft movements on the ground, while the use of concrete will shorten the project’s timetable and increase the lifespan of the runway.”

“State-of-the-art runway and taxiway systems are essential to ensuring John F. Kennedy International remains one of the world’s most important airports,’’ said Port Authority Vice Chairman Jeffrey Lynford.

The runway work is expected to generate 1,880 total jobs and an additional $140.6 million in wages, and produce nearly $385 million in economic activity over the life of the project The Port Authority is working to coordinate flight schedules and airport operations during construction with the Federal Aviation Administration and the airlines to help ensure minimal impacts on travelers.

The closure of Runway 13L-31R, one of JFK’s four runways, is scheduled to begin in April 2019 and reopen with key project elements finished by the end of 2019.

The construction of a new high-speed taxiway and taxiway realignment will improve efficiency of runway operations, reducing runway occupancy time per arrival by nearly six seconds on average. The time-savings are cumulative and are estimated to save passengers approximately 1,000 hours annually in delays and taxiing time, for a combined savings to airlines and passengers of about $9 million, according to FAA calculations.

The runway refurbishment is part of a Port Authority program of airport infrastructure improvements focused on enhanced safety and reduced flight delays. This includes the addition of high speed taxiways at JFK and Newark Liberty International Airport and the expansion of the aeronautical operations areas.  At LaGuardia the increased airfield area will mean increased maneuverability for larger planes to gates. These infrastructure improvements are being combined with technology enhancements to help reduce delays by managing arrival and departure traffic more efficiently.

Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency’s network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where the 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade Center is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the State of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, please visit http://www.panynj.gov.