The three major airports of the metropolitan area of New York, LaGuardia (LGA), Newark Liberty International (EWR) and John F Kennedy (JFK), jointly handle more than 120 million passengers annually, making New York among the top 5 air transport markets in the world. Traffic handled by the airports has experienced an ongoing growth interrupted by periods of recession (1990-92, 2001-03 and 2008-10). EWR and JFK both cover and extensive array of international services, albeit EWR has a higher domestic orientation than JFK. LGA tends to cover almost exclusively domestic traffic, but has links with Canada (mostly Montreal and Toronto) and the Caribbean where airports have border pre-clearance facilities.
While LGA is the closest airport to Manhattan, it has limited room for expansion and it cannot serviced by wide body aircrafts due to the limited length of its runways. Over a 20 year period, its traffic has remained relatively constant. Stewart International Airport (SWF) is comparatively marginal, handling about half a million passengers per year. It is expected that SWF would capture additional traffic from the growth of air travel in the New York metropolitan area, but this expectation has so far remained unrealized.