Port Authority Board meeting stresses health, safety and recovery

Port Authority Board meeting stresses health, safety and recovery
Rick Cotton, Executive Director Port Authority.
Photo by Jeff Yapalater

Yesterday, March 26, the Port held its monthly meeting. The Board acknowledged that Covid-19 health crisis has had profound impact on Port and the public. Executive Director Rick Cotton spoke about the impact and above all thanked the Port and all front line workers for their “dedication and commitment” during this period. Both he and Chairman O’Toole expressed a great deal of empathy for the workers across the board and this was a large part of the Port’s comments during the meeting.

Cotton remarks take-aways:

-Port is following all emergency work orders and protecting workers with remote working, safe distancing and ongoing hygienic actions.

-All Port facilities are operating under emergency guidelines.

-The first step is to get through the immediate crisis then the second is to “prepare to support as rapidly and expansive recovery as soon as possible

-Construction projects are on-going, including LaGuardia.

-Port has asked for the Federal government to provide relief and this is a key part of decisions that will help Port work with the airlines, concessionaires, workers. JFK developers and investors.

-All Port facilities are undergoing regular hygienic cleanups.-He stated that Port is working closely with CDC and CBP for international air travelers screening

-The consolidation of terminals at JFK is necessary so that the safety and operational resources are put into proper place for “common use” efficiency.

-From this week to last week, airline volume as down 80%.

-The Port seaport that handles freighters has suffered but he expects shipments to increase by Mid-April as Chinese factories get back online.

Both he and Port Chairman said “ we will get through this process and get to a better day.”

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