BY RYAN HAAS
Parking either within or near John F. Kennedy International Airport is no simple task, with many airport employees taking up coveted spots both in parking lots and on nearby streets.
Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder and Councilman Eric Ulrich are working with five major passenger and freight airline companies based at JFK to ensure proper parking policies that will ease traffic and increase available parking spots near the airport.
Goldfeder and Ulrich announced plans to attend an upcoming meeting with airport business and government leaders to address ongoing parking issues in surrounding communities.
“With more than 37,000 employees and countless visitors, JFK Airport is as much a neighboring community as it is a transit hub,” Goldfeder said. “That’s why it’s so important for companies operating at JFK do their part to be good neighbors to our families in southern Queens.”
Ulrich echoed the assemblyman’s comments, explaining how imperative it is for all airport employees and companies within JFK to be respectful to community neighbors.
“It is vital that all those employees and travelers at JFK Airport do their part to be good neighbors,” he said.
Just last month, Goldfeder and Ulrich wrote letters to the top 10 airlines operating out of JFK for a general parking inquiry. The latest Airport Traffic Report, made available by the Port Authority, reported that JFK employees were parking in nearby residential neighborhoods to access AirTrain stations. Officials said at the time that the practice takes up valuable parking spaces and increases traffic on otherwise quiet residential streets.
In letters sent last week to Goldfeder and Ulrich responding to their initial concerns about parking space, three major airlines at JFK airport – Cathay Pacific, JetBlue, and Lufthansa – all stated they provide transportation parking spaces, transportation reimbursements and shuttle services to employees.
Delta and American Airlines followed suit, contacting Goldfeder to confirm that they also provide parking for their employees. All airlines pledged to work with the legislators on maintaining good relations between the airport and surrounding communities.
“I’m pleased to learn that many of the airlines at JFK are already taking the necessary steps to alleviate parking problems in the community,” Goldfeder said. “I look forward to working with all businesses at JFK as we work to provide some much-needed relief for our families.”
The airlines issued letters in response to the local politicians’ claims shortly after Goldfeder and Ulrich met with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to discuss regular reported sightings of TSA officers in uniform parking in community streets. According to the TSA, the agency has taken steps to prevent the problem, including publishing notices in employee newsletters urging against the practice.
During the meeting, TSA officials confirmed that the agency is currently undergoing negotiations on new parking and public transportation subsidies for workers to help alleviate the issue.
The legislators also announced plans to address the board of the Kennedy Airport Airlines Management Council (KAAMCO) to further voice their concerns.