Getting to JFK Airport Now Made Easier with New Air Taxi Service - The Jewish Voice
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Saturday, August 13, 2022

Getting to JFK Airport Now Made Easier with New Air Taxi Service

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Flying taxis are arriving soon in New York and could take people to the airports like JFK, although don’t expect it to grow into something big any time soon. A big increase in these operations would surely lead to tighter regulations, these services are not cheap, they are not at all efficient (you think car traffic is bad?), and they are terrible for the environment. But apparently they’re coming in some limited capacity, so get ready.

Blade already offers paying customers helicopter rides out to the Hamptons, but now the company will charge $195 per passenger for routinely scheduled flights between Manhattan and JFK Airport out by Howard Beach in Queens, compared to about $15 for a ride on the Long Island Railroad and AirTrain and a whole lot fewer carbon emissions spewed out into the air.

If you need a quick ride from Manhattan to the airport and are in a real jam, you can hitch a ride with Blade because it already started its weekday service, which will operate between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. The newly opened neighborhood of Hudson Yards will serve as the Manhattan location, taking airline passengers straight from being down by the Queens beaches to the far-west side of Manhattan where new and towering buildings look back over the Hudson River at New Jersey.

Customers have the simple option to use the Blade app or can simply walk into the lounge operated by Blade at the West 30th Street heliport all the way at 12th Avenue. A representative would be available to help planning a flight, which can be useful for anyone who would need assistance if using the app would be too confusing or if the person had further questions.

The schedule is a little flexible, but on the whole, the service is meant to guarantee low wait times, making the five-minute flight time worth it.

“If you arrive at the lounge, you’ll have to wait between zero and 20 minutes,” Robert S. Wiesenthal of Blade said to the New York Post. If the entire process took a long time, then it would defeat the purpose of being able to get to the airport so quickly once actually in transit.

If New York ever reopened the Rockaway Beach branch off of the Long Island Railroad mainline out by Rego Park, the new route would be able to serve as a cutoff that could allow for 30-minute trips from the airport to midtown Manhattan, to put things into perspective. The Airtrain tracks could also be made compatible for Long Island Railroad train cars, which would allow for direct one-seat service from midtown to JFK in about a half hour, to put the helicopter ride into perspective. New York Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal are also much easier to reach (Long Island Railroad could eventually run trains to and from Grand Central).

The city has seen efforts like these helicopter programs before, such as Gotham Air, which was a crowd-sourced service launched in 2015, according to the New York Post. Prices were about $100 a flight, and the company only lasted a little over a year. Blade also does plan to address the fact that helicopters require a lot of energy and therefore pollute a lot from all the fuel they use. Blade wants to use drones called electrical vertical takeoff and landing machines, which would run on electricity and be drones that are specifically designed for passenger flight.

Wiesenthal thinks the move will happen within five years and will also bring down noise pollution and prices.

“We plan to get the one way price down to $70 or $90 within five years,” he said in an interview with the New York Post. “We want our partnership to give Bell a comprehensive understanding of aircraft and infrastructure requirements for when we swap out today’s helicopters for tomorrow’s eVTOLs.”

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