A Manhattan airport in Central Park? Not really

Today's epic airline prank is brought to you by The Manhattan Airport Foundation, which wants to bulldoze Central Park and put up an airport in its place. Yes, you must be thinking that this is a joke, and yes, you're right.

Beyond the sheer implausibility of razing Central Park to make way for an airport, let's look at the details. Their address is "233 Broadway, 58th Floor," which is in the Woolworth Building. But the building, which was completed in 1913, only has 57 floors. Perhaps the 'Foundation' has open-air offices on the building's rather angular roof. They've also secured financial backing from the "Waalwijk Charitable Trust" and the 'Tokyo-based holding company' Yamanote Ltd. Problem is, neither entity actually exists. However, that's not preventing the Foundation from accepting a thousand dollars in return for naming rights to a bench. You could throw in some cash, but you'd end up feeling more burned than a JetAmerica investor.

The Foundation claims that it exists to promote "the immediate development of a viable and centrally-located international air transportation hub in New York City for the benefit of all New Yorkers," claiming that "Central Park squanders 843 acres of the most valuable real estate in the world." It touts Central Park's location as a more convenient alternative to JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark, and even claims that "Environmentalists Rally In Support Of Manhattan Airport." Perhaps most hilarious, however, are excerpts from the laughable Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: I own an apartment alongside Central Park. What will Manhattan Airport do to my property value?
A: History has proven that bringing a transportation amenity to an underserved region elevates the perception and economic well-being of the area... [Right, like having 747s flying into Manhattan is going to raise property values on the Upper East Side.]

Q: What about the environmental impact of building Manhattan Airport?
A: Research shows that single-passenger car-service and taxi trips between Manhattan and JFK/EWR/LGA account for up to 9% of automobile-created carbon-based emissions in the region... [Research also shows that 86% of non-cited statistics are made up on the spot.]

Q: Will taxpayers shoulder the financial burden of building and operating Manhattan Airport?
A: No. Manhattan Airport is a privately-financed corporation. To date, nearly 100 investors have signed on to provide approximately $130M in equity with another $80M from the bond market making Manhattan Airport the most ambitious privately-funded airport development project in US history. [Because 100 investors are really going to invest in a fake airport.]
It's impossible to figure out who's actually behind the prank; the website is deliberately vague. Still, I wonder why someone would come up with such an elaborate ruse. Are they trying to send home a point, or do they just have too much time on their hands? Perhaps we'll find out; in the meantime, check out some pictures of the proposed 'airport':

2 comments:

Coldfusioneer said...

Not to mention they name their runways 5A and 5B which are non-standard, too close together, and do not have proper taxi-ways around them.

haonanz said...

the idea of an airport inside a city was explored early on in urban/airport planning.

le corbusier himself sketched a vision of what it would look like.
http://twitpic.com/bc1kl

from the book, The Naked Airport http://bit.ly/lKcZv