Phildelphia

Published on Tuesday, August 18, 2015

'Miracle on the Hudson' pilot slams LaGuardia redevelopment



'Miracle on the Hudson' pilot Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger has criticized the proposed $4 billion revamp of LaGuardia airport as it does not extend the length of the airport's short runways.

'Sully,'  who famously landed US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River after a bird strike shortly after taking off from the airport, says extending the 7,000-feet-long runways is a priority.

Speaking on local radio, he said landing at LaGuardia is 'challenging' due to the short runways that jut into the East River.

"You must fly the approach very accurately, very well.  You must have the airplane flight path exactly aligned with the runway and must touch down at the right altitude at the right speed to allow all that to happen," Sullenberger said.

"I'm sure it would be difficult and expensive (to extend the runways) but there have been more difficult challenges taken up around the world," he said.

"In fact, it's a sad commentary that many of the most advanced airports in the world are outside the United States — in fact, all of them."

"It would be a better airport if the runways could be made longer and have better runway safety areas on the three runways that face the water," he added.

Gov. Cuomo alongside Vice President Joe Biden announced plans to redevelop LaGuardia, which Biden himself previously described as a 'third world' airport.

The 'Miracle on the Hudson' story is to be immortalized on the big screen with an upcoming film starring Tom Hanks as Captain Sully.
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