DOT Amendment of Routes for Operation of Large Trailers

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Effective Date: 
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Download Copy of Adopted Rule (.pdf): 



The air cargo industry at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is an important source of jobs and economic activity in New York City. Air cargo employment at JFK depends on safe, convenient truck access to the airport.


For safety reasons, existing New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) regulations have prohibited trucks with trailers longer than 55 feet in total combined length from using portions of certain highways that provide access to JFK.  However, a 2008 engineering study conducted by NYC DOT and the New York State Department of Transportation demonstrated that trucks with trailers up to 73 ½ feet in total combined length − including trucks with 53-foot trailers, the standard tractor trailer combination used in the air cargo industry − can be operated safely between the George Washington Bridge and JFK using the route described in this proposed rule. Thus, the current regulations put JFK, and New York City as a whole, at a disadvantage when competing against other airports in the area for airport-based jobs and economic activity, at a time when the New York City Economic Development Corporation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are planning to invest in modern, on-airport cargo facilities.


These rules expand the transportation network upon which trucks with 53-foot trailers can operate in New York City.  It:


  • Provides a clearly defined, safe route for drivers to haul 53-foot trailers from the George Washington Bridge to JFK Airport, exclusively using designated highways instead of local streets;
  • Supports the growth of air cargo jobs at JFK; and
  • Continues to prohibit trucks with 53-foot trailers from being operated on any non-designated highway or street in New York City, such as destinations off the airport property in southern Queens.

The New York City Department of Transportation’s authority for these rules is found in sections 385 and 1642 of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law and section 2903(a)(1)of the New York City Charter.