An overview of some possible avenues of development for New York's air transportation system from now until 1980. Three ways of adding to the system's capacity are investigated: (1) continuing to operate mainly from the present three airport sites; (2) developing new capacity for the short- and medium-length-of-trip market; and (3) constructing a fourth major airport 40 or 50 miles from Manhattan. The three alternatives are compared in terms of major investment outlays, time phasing of capacity additions, and vulnerability to forecast errors. The analysis indicates that expansion in the next several years will be limited to the type envisioned by the V/STOL system, e.g., creation of a major STOL port near mid-Manhattan. If a program of peripheral and V/STOL airports can be developed to serve a significant portion of air travel in the area, the need for a fourth airport may be delayed. However, it may be wise to acquire ownership or control of a site as soon as possible. (See also RM-5816, RM-5817, RM-5818, RM-5819.)
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