Welcome to Metropolitan Airport News, ‘Editors Notebook’. I initially intended my first letter to be about my love of road trips and those that have taken me and my family to just about every part of our vast and magnificently diverse country, including a journey my husband and I took across the U.S.A. this past summer by rail, air, and automobile. But I am pre-empting the story of my road trip journey with a topic that doesn’t have much to do with trains, planes, and automobiles, but rather about community, both the metropolitan airport community and, more specifically, the JFK Airport community that sustained a family’s livelihood for over 60 years.
When I began writing for Metropolitan Airport News in 2019, my contributions were primarily focused on aviation history, its pioneers, and landmark events in aviation and at our New York metropolitan region’s airports. Within two years following my departure from my job as the curatorial assistant at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in March of 2020, I was invited to come on board as a contributing editor for Metropolitan Airport News. I transitioned into my new role as Editor-in-Chief after the untimely passing of the paper’s founding Editor-in-Chief, Joseph Alba.
I began writing the magazine’s features relating to PANYNJ airports. These features also included the stories of the many community initiatives taking place at these airports and others in the region, alongside the men and women leading these initiatives within the airport community and the local aviation industry.
In speaking to CEOs, PANYNJ spokespersons, community leaders, and representatives of the airport and aviation community, I have learned a lot and written about many fascinating topics and people. A few of these topics include the future of air travel, super-sonic transport, eVTOL technology, sustainability and diversity at airports, the community of unsung heroes and heroines of aviation on and after 9/11, airport programs in service to the community and careers in aviation, volunteer & charitable airport organizations, aviation legacies, air travel accessibility for people with disabilities, arts and culture initiatives, animal rescue by air, the transformation of Terminal B at LaGuardia Airport, JFKIAT Terminal 4, and prominently the redevelopment projects taking place at JFK and Newark, and the consortiums enabling the construction of the New Terminal One and Terminal 6 at JFK Airport.
Many of the articles that I have written were garnered from a birds-eye perspective, but in conjunction with that view, and through my attendance at in-person airport and off-site events, the underlying thread that runs through all the subjects covered thus far, is really about the airport and the aviation community and its leaders. This includes the local business community and non-profit agencies whose outreach extends out to and beyond the communities surrounding LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy, and Newark Liberty Airports. Taking all that into consideration, it is the thousands who work on the front and back lines at these incredible gateways into and out of the New York metropolitan area who keep them operative 24/7 and 365 days a year.
I recently attended the Airport Community Golf Classic (ACGC) at the Lawrence Yacht and Country Club on Long Island, where the comradery that the close-knit airport community shares was quite apparent and refreshing to witness first-hand. The ACGC was founded to assist local airport and aviation-related associations with fundraising efforts to continue the essential work they provide on behalf of the aviation industry. All proceeds from this wonderful event are set to be distributed to the JFK Air Cargo Association, the Aviation High School Education Foundation, and CALMM.
Attending the ACGC as a member of the airport community myself through my affiliation with Metropolitan Airport News, it was inspiring to observe the obvious connection and, in many cases, the lifelong comradery and friendships that those in the airport community share and have formed with one another, not only in recent years but in the decades proceeding this gathering.
When I entered the airport community in 2019 as an editor, I was a relative newbie to the airport community in that respect, but prior to that, preceding the closure of my husband’s family business in 2017, his brick-and-mortar hardware store was a fixture on Rockaway Boulevard and served the JFK Airport Community for over 60 years, opening when the airport and the area around it were still known as Idlewild. So, my ties to the airport community go back quite a long way, especially in the 30+ years I’ve been married to both my husband and his business! Hence, the JFK airport community does, and shall always, hold a warm and special place in my heart, for it was there, through the livelihood of my husband’s small family business, that we raised our two daughters in a small ranch on Long Island, paid the mortgage, and always had food on the table.