For many, the summer months are full of opportunities to get away and travel. If you’re planning on traveling this summer, you may be spooked hearing about lost luggage, canceled and delayed flights, long security lines, and otherwise hectic traveling circumstances. This chaos is not unique to New Jersey and has impacted many major local airports, though you may be wondering why Newark Airport has been particularly rough recently. Unfortunately for us local to Newark International Airport, EWR has been hit really hard with a record number of flight cancellations. In addition to these record cancellations, we took a look into other happenings at EWR including the now halted plans of an Amazon cargo hub. Read on to learn more about Newark International Airport’s record delays alongside the collapse of Amazon cargo plan hubs.
Cancellations + Delays
FlightAware, a flight tracking website, compiled a data analysis for CNN that lists Newark International Airport (EWR) as the number one U.S. airport with the most cancellations so far this summer.
According to this data, 7.9% of EWR flights have been canceled between May 28th and July 18th. Number two on the list is Laguardia Airport at 7.4%.
Read More: 7 Quickest Trips from Newark
As of June 2022, over 120,000 flights across the U.S. have been canceled. This potentially puts 2022 on course to become the worst year for cancellations ever – not including the pandemic year, 2020. The only other year to have over 200,000 cancellations was 2001 after flights were grounded due to the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
In addition to cancellations, FlightAware also reports that 30% of flights at Newark International Airport have been delayed this summer. This puts EWR at number 4 on the top 10 list of most delays at a U.S. airport.
There are multiple reasons why this is happening now.
The COVID-19 pandemic drastically dissipated air travel after the government had implemented the stay-at-home order. In 2022, many citizens are looking to resume travel at a level airlines haven’t seen since pre-pandemic.
Pilot shortage seems to be a major issue. According to Newsweek and Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst and advisor with Atmosphere Research Group, more than three times the usual number of pilots left the industry in 2020 and not enough have been trained for their replacement.
In addition to pilot shortage, other issues are affecting air travel such as airlines scheduling too many flights, airline staffing shortages, and bad weather.
Amazon Plan Collapses
Amazon, the multi-billion-dollar e-commerce site, has remained unsuccessful in its ability to expand its empire into the tri-state area. In 2019, the company had abruptly canceled its plan to open a second headquarters out in Queens after facing an immense amount of criticism surrounding the project.
The bid for a 20-year-long lease for two buildings at Newark Airport was introduced to Port Authority last August. The negotiations included two 1990s-era buildings at Newark Airport that were to be developed into a 250,000-square-foot cargo hub. The facility was to be opened next year.
The plan received backlash from labor and environmentalist groups, claiming that the proposed hub would cause increased traffic, emissions, and congestion in an already low-income area that is already suffering from these issues. In addition to those issues, others criticized Amazon’s working conditions.
The negotiations between Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the airport’s operator, and Amazon went on for a year and were ultimately unable to reach an agreement.
Port Authority Chief Operating Officer Huntley Lawrence said in a statement earlier this month. “Unfortunately, the Port Authority and Amazon have been unable to reach an agreement on final lease terms and mutually concluded that further negotiations will not resolve the outstanding issues.”