Despite extensive damage in some areas life is starting to get back to normal in the Northeast Corridor of the United States following Hurricane Sandy. One of the first signs of progress is the reopening of two of the areas major airports, Newark’s Liberty International and New York’s JFK.
Both airports are operating on a reduced schedule and trying to get their logistics in some semblance of order. In addition, much of the restoration in service depends on the individual airlines. Delta, for example, is targeting Thursday morning for a resumption of service to the area.
Airports in Philadelphia and Washington also reopened on Wednesday. New York’s third major airport, LaGuardia, is planning to reopen on Thursday. They will also be on a limited flight schedule and airport officials suggest that travelers booked to fly out of LaGuardia check with their airline before coming to the airport.
It may be some time before LaGuardia is back up to full capacity. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said they are still assessing the situation at LaGuardia and are concerned about some infrastructure damage. Floodwater covered the runways there and reached some terminal walls earlier in the week. Also, they are inspecting part of the runway that is suspended over the East River and which was damaged when a barge struck it during the height of the storm.
Most airlines suggested that they’d be back up and running out of LaGuardia as soon as possible, but some are taking it slow. Jet Blue is especially bearish, posting on their website that “LaGuardia may not be open for some time due to infrastructure damage.” Of course each airline’s dependance on a particular airport varies–Jet Blue, for example, primarily flies out of JFK where they are the airport’s largest operator. Delta is the largest at LaGuardia while Newark’s largest operator is United.
A secondary problem in reopening airports is ground transportation. Many–if not most–ground transportation options in the New York City area remain closed. There’s a decent amount of taxis running but for now trains and buses are in short supply for travelers.