What’s the news at Newark?

By Rebecca Lougheed




KEWR/Newark Liberty International is the other, other international airport serving the New York metropolitan area – the busiest airport system in the US – along with KJFK/New York JFK and KLGA/La Guardia.

Whilst JFK airport is the largest, Newark is actually the busiest in terms of number of flights. It is also the 6th busiest airport in the US in terms of international traffic, and 15th busiest in general in the country.

So, what is happening now?

Runway works. And a general redevelopment program which includes a plan to replace Terminal A, due to be fully finished by 2022. You can read about that here.

But it is the runway rehabilitation we are most interested in, because it involves runway 04R/22L. The runway was last upgraded in 2012 so this is long overdue, particularly given that it serves 47 percent of the airport’s traffic load.

Of course, there is a Notam to warn everyone about the closure.

Does anyone remember AC Flight 759?

Air Canada Flight 759 is the one that, in 2017, very nearly had a very nasty accident at KSFO/San Francisco. By very nearly, we mean avoided it by less than about 14 feet. That was the reported distance between the bottom of the Air Canada aircraft and the tail of a Phillippine Airlines A340 sitting on Taxiway C.

One of the probable causes the NTSB cited was the pilots mistaking taxiway C for runway 28R because they had overlooked the closure of runway 28L in the Notam report.

So, let’s take a look at the Notams you will see for KEWR/Newark should you operate in there today.

We downloaded a report straight from the FAA Notam site, and it is here if you would like a look.

This may well differ to what you would receive in your flight plan pack, we have not included any filters and the layout is a little less user friendly. It is possible your flight planning department / system / whatever you use does present this in a clearer way, but it is also possible it does not.

We had this highlighted to us by a member whose exact words were “Talk about getting lost in the weeds – that’s just crazy.”

So, what is the concern?

Well, there are 5 pages, with 108 Notams in total and hidden away on page 4 is Notam 07/045

In case you couldn’t spot it

Which is why we mentioned the KSFO incident.

Newark’s runway layout looks like this – 

04R/22L is closed

San Fran’s runway layout is this –

28L/10R was closed

And while KSFO’s layout, with taxiway C to the outer side of runway 28R led to a more likely visual mistake, the mixing of this Notam within a swamp of over 100 others does mean it might be missed, particularly by an operator who is not familiar with the airport.

Notam 07/045

The Notam advises that runway 04R/22L will be closed from 06 July 2021 until 01 October 2021.

There is, if your filter includes it, also a construction plan.

The construction notice

What about the other 107 notams?

Nothing can substitute flight planners and pilots reading the Notam packs thoroughly. However, faced with 108 Notams for an airport (especially if you’re not familiar with it), it might be daunting.

So here is a summary of what to look out for, (as of September 15 2021).

In the air:

  • Rwy 11 has PAPIs but no VASIs. The visual glide slope indicators should not be used as they do not coincide with the ILS of RNAV glide paths
  • There are a lot of  VORs which have been permanently taken out of service, but many of the arrivals and some of the missed approaches require them. If you don’t have a suitable GPS equipped RNAV system then you are not gong to be able to fly a fair few arrivals and departures to the airport, or the ILS or VOR DME approaches for runway 11
      • TEB, COL, CRI, OTT, SBJ
  • The ILS and the LOC/DME procedures for 04L are not available
  • You cannot circle to runway 29 or 11 at night. The RNAV visual for 29 is also unavailable
  • There are a lot of cranes in the area. Some as high as 150′
  • The approaches for 04R/22L are not available… probably because the runway is closed
  • Runway 04R/22L is closed

On the ground:

  • A lot of the ground markings are faded so watch out while taxying.
  • The centre line markings for 11/29 are also in pretty poor condition. Actually, a lot of lead off lines and other runway markings for the other runways are faded too
  • And a lot of signs are missing or are missing lights, or are non-standard. So a general caution while on the taxiways.

Any other notices to know?

There is a long list of Letters to Airmen published for Newark. If you have not been there before, or seen these, then they are worth a read because they give helpful info on operations for the airport, and for the general NY area.

LTA-EWR-47 highlights the procedures for engrossing and egressing the ramp. So in plain English, entering and exiting. If you have just arrived then call ground control with your ramp entrance once you’ve crossed 04L/22R. If you’re departing then let ground control know which ramp exit you want when you request your taxi clearance.

LTA-EWR-44 talks about the big Hotspot at the end of 22R/04L. A lot of GA flights make the mistake here. You’re going to be told to taxi PAPA, cross runway 11 then turn left on SULU and hold short runway 04L”. The turn is tight and the hold short is right there so don’t go too far!

Taken straight from the LTA

And the others…

  • LTA 51 is warning operators about non-visible areas – basically where ATC can’t see you so be extra careful of other traffic.
  • LTA 45 says be ready for takeoff when cleared, don’t dawdle on the runway.
  • LTA 46 is about helicopter departures.
  • LTA 48 is your info on LAHSO.
  • LTA 49 warns that ATC might issue multiple runway crossings using various different taxiways. Watch out for other traffic, but its not a race!
  • LTA 50 is all about line up and wait clearances at night.
  • LTA 52 is about simultaneous intersecting runways ops for arrives to 4Rand 29 – and the fact ATC are allowed to do it.
  • LAT 53 is your available distances for intersection departures.
  • LAT N90-67 warns to watch your climbs and descents in busy NY airspace.
  • LAT N90-73 It is really busy and aircraft often get vectored in and out of Class B airspace. This lists the airspace “hotspots” for traffic in the areas surrounding each major airport.

Any other things to share?

Aircraft are reporting they have been given the Stadium Visual when heading in from the North. One to look over if not familiar, particularly if you’re not familiar with visual approaches and are expecting a nice straightforward ILS of some sort.

We only have one Airport Spy review for KEWR/Newark and yet it is a challenging airport in a challenging region where we know a lot of folk have flown. So here is our call for your operational hints and tips!

If you are familiar with KEWR/Newark then please share those “gotchas” or need to know “heads ups” – and we will share them on to everyone in the group. You can file an Airport Spy report here: ops.group/blog/spyreport

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Rebecca Lougheed

Rebecca Lougheed

I am an OPSGROUP team member, an A380 pilot, and interested in all things flight ops! Based near an undisclosed airfield in England. Question for us? Write to blog.team@ops.group.

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