It is the oldest airport in New York and for a long time the only one in the entire metropolitan area, but it has since had to give up its status as the largest New York airport. We are talking about the “Newark Liberty International Airport”, where most transatlantic flights from German-speaking countries arrive and depart today.
The airport with the international abbreviation EWR handles around 35 million passengers per year in three terminals. Newark Liberty was inaugurated in 1928, when it was opened under the name “Newark Metropolitan Airport”.
Interlude as a military base for the US Army
Just seven years after opening, Newark’s airport operators were able to celebrate a real superlative when they showed the amazed guests the world’s first commercial airport terminal and then handed it over to the public. Not only with the planes, but also with the airport itself, things were steadily improving, so that even the opening of the competitor “ LaGuardia “Wasn’t a cause for concern in the late 1930s. The success story would certainly have continued unimpaired had the Second World War not intervened with its turmoil. Because the army needed a strategically located air base, Newark Metropolitan Airport was completely closed to civil aviation. From the beginning of the war until 1948 it served exclusively as a base for military operations.
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Lufthansa is almost at home here
After the end of the war, Newark was able to quickly build on its former successes, but now had to share its role as “New York Airport” with “New York International Airport”, which had opened in Queens in mid-1948. It became the home airport of such renowned airlines as Delta and, thanks to its proximity to Manhattan, quickly achieved undreamt-of popularity. In the end, Newark had to settle for second place in the ranking. At least the airport was able to win over Continenttal Airways, which later became part of “United Airlines”. Since Lufthansa and “United Airlines” are founding members of the “Star Alliance” and cooperate accordingly, many flights to and from Germany still take off and land in Newark.
September 11, 2001 is closely related to Newark Airport
There was actually nothing special about that United Airlines flight number 93, which took off on September 11, 2001 from Newark for San Francisco. Everything went normally until about an hour after reaching cruising altitude, terrorists took control of the plane. The rest of the story is tragic: passengers are said to have tried in vain to regain control of the plane and hand it over to the crew, but they failed and the plane finally crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. All 44 passengers, including the four hijackers, were killed in this act of terrorism. As a result, the addition “Liberty” was added to the name of Newark Airport.
How best to get there
Of the three New York airports, Newark Liberty International Airport is the furthest away from popular tourist destinations with around 25 kilometers to the center of Manhattan. This means that traveling in licensed taxis or pre-booked minibuses costs a little more than to and from LaGuardia or John F. Kennedy Airport. But if you shy away from this additional expense, you can also get to your destination by public transport. From Newark, various buses run regularly to the surrounding cities, all of which are usually on time and only cost a few dollars. The best way to get to Manhattan is by taking the NJ Transit and Amtrak trains. Both lines run from the train station in the airport. Simply follow the signs to “Newark Airport Station”. A single journey costs (as of June 2016) twelve dollars, and trains run from five in the morning to two at night. In busy times, the trains can often go faster than the car.
Newark Liberty International Airport in brief
- Around 35 million passengers are handled in three terminals each year
- Important airport for transatlantic flights in and from the German-speaking area; many Lufthansa flights
- Easily accessible from New York by public transport