NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Airports Scale Back on Improvements

November 12, 2001

Airports in Los Angeles, Boston and Phoenix have put off major construction projects and others have delayed or canceled work already started on runways and terminals. Smaller facilities have canceled modest face-lifts -- fearful that they may lose carriers as airlines cut back on service.

Experts say the reasons can be attributed to plunging revenues and increases in security costs.

  • All told, airports have canceled or delayed an estimated $16 billion in hundreds of capital projects.
  • A survey by the trade group Airports Council International-North America reveals that 88 percent of capital projects have been delayed for an unspecified period of time -- and an additional 6 percent have been delayed for a year or more.
  • Airports had originally launched their construction programs to address the problem of growing flight delays.
  • But now passenger traffic at many of them is off by as much as 20 percent to 30 percent -- and the new emphasis, which will impact design, is on safety and security

Source: Fred Bayles, "Airport Expansion Plans Come to Screeching Halt," USA Today, November 12, 2001.


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