Newark Liberty International Airport formerly known as Newark International Airport is an international airport within the city limits of both Newark an Elizabeth, New Jersey. It is about 15 miles south west of New York City.
Newark Liberty International Airport is operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey which manages the three other major airports in metro New York, John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), LaGuardia and Teterboro Airport (as well as the Downtown Manhattan Heliport). Newark Liberty International Airport is the fifth busiest international air gateway to the United States; JFK ranks first.
Newark Liberty International Airport is the second-largest hub for Continental Airline’s the airport’s largest tenant (operating all of Terminal C and part of Terminal A). United Airlines and FedEx operate cargo hubs.
In 2005 Newark Liberty International Airport handled approximately 33 million passengers; JFK handled about 41 million and LaGuardia about 26 million, making for a total of approximately 100 million travelers using New York’s airports. With these numbers, this makes New York’s airspace surpass that of Chicago’s to become the busiest in the US.
Newark Liberty International Airport was the first major airport in the New York area: it opened on 1 st of October 1928, occupying an area of reclaimed marshland in New Jersey.
In 1935, Amelia Earhart dedicated the Newark Airport Administration Building, which is considered by many to be the world’s first commercial airline terminal, although that at Croydon Airport predates it by 7 years. Newark Liberty International Airport was the busiest airport in the world until LaGuardia opened in 1939, dividing New York’s air traffic and allowing Midway Airport to take the lead. Newark Liberty International Airport was soon closed to passenger traffic and taken over by the United States Army for logistics operations during World War II.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey took over Newark Liberty International Airport in 1948 and made major investments in airport infrastructure, opening new runways and hangars and revamping the airport’s terminal layout. Airline traffic resumed that year. The art deco Administration Building served as the main terminal until the opening of the North Terminal in 1953, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
In the 1970s Newark Liberty International Airport underwent a significant enlargement, including the construction of the current Terminals A, B, and C, and was renamed Newark International Airport. Terminals A and B opened in 1973, although some charter and international flights requiring customs clearance remained at the North Terminal. Terminal C remained uncompleted until 1988.
Underutilized throughout the 1970s, Newark Liberty International Airport expanded dramatically in the 1980s. People Express struck a deal with the Port Authority to use the North Terminal in 1981 and began operations at Newark that year. It quickly rose to become one of the largest American airlines, bringing more traffic to the airport.
Virgin Atlantic Airways began flights from Newark Liberty International Airport to London in 1984, challenging JFK’s status as New York’s international gateway (however, Virgin Atlantic now has more flights going out of JFK than out of Newark). When People Express was merged into Continental in 1987, the now-demolished North Terminal was shuttered forever. Newark, however, remained a hub of Continental, which operated out of Terminal B until the opening of Terminal C in 1988.
Today, Continental has its World Gateway at Terminal C, having just completed a major expansion project that included the construction of a new, third concourse and a new Federal Inspection Services facility. With its Newark hub, Continental is the largest provider of air service to the New York metropolitan area.
On September 11, 2001, United Airlines Flight 93 on its way from Newark to San Francisco International Airport crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania when passengers took over the plane from a team of hijackers. Based on the direction that the plane was flying at the time and information gathered afterwards, most observers believe that the hijackers intended to crash the plane into a target in Washington, D.C.
In memory of this event, the airport’s name was changed from Newark International Airport to Newark Liberty International Airport. This name was chosen over the initial proposal, Liberty International Airport at Newark, and refers to the landmark Statue of Liberty, just 7 miles east of the airport. Despite the name change few locals call it by its new name. The name most often used by locals is “Newark Airport” or simply “Newark”.
In 2003, Newark Liberty International Airport became the terminus of the world’s longest non-stop scheduled airline route, Continental’s service to Hong Kong. I 2004, Singapore Airlines broke Continental’s record by starting direct 18-hour flights to Singapore from Newark. In 2005, Continental commenced flight from Newark to Beijing on June 15, 2005, and New Delhi on November 1, 2005: when these services began, Continental became for a time the only airline to serve India nonstop from the United States, and the second U.S. carrier, after United, to serve mainland China nonstop.
Newark Liberty International Airport has three passenger terminals. Terminal A and Terminal B were completed in 1973 and have a three-story layout, with departures on the top floor, arrivals on the middle floor, and flight operations on the ground floor. Terminal C, completed in 1988, has two departures levels, one for international check-in and one for domestic check-in, with the gates and food and shopping outlets located on a mezzanine between the two check-in floors.
It’s worth noting that extensive renovations were completed in Terminal C from 1998-2003. The baggage claim area was renovated, and turned into a second departure level, splitting departures into International Floor/Domestic Floor, a third Concourse was added, an International Arrivals facility was added, and a 3,400 space parking garage, and new baggage processing facilities were added, including turning the former underground parking area into a new baggage claim (Which was a great use of space, as parking had been prohibited underneath the terminal as a security measure after the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993.)
Each terminal is subdivided into three numbered concourses: Terminal A, for instance, is divided into concourses A1, A2, and A3. Gate numbering is continuous through all the terminals.
Newark Liberty International Airport is an intermodal airport. A monorail system connects the terminals with the Newark Liberty International for connection to Amtrak and New Jersey Transit service. Passengers can use this connection to travel directly from EWR to any station along the Northeast Corridor, including regional transit hubs such as New York City’ Pennsylvania Station.