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These airports are the world's hardest to get to

First impressions count, and when it comes to getting to and from America's major airports, a new survey suggests we're creating a pretty bad one for air travelers compared to what they see at other international air hubs.

A survey by the Global Gateway Alliance (GCA), a New York-New Jersey airport advocacy group, used Google Maps, airport information, local journey planners and available mass transit information to rank airport accessibility for passenger traffic at the world's 30 busiest airports.

It also looked at total travel time to and from those airports, as well as costs, modes of transportation and number of transfers needed.

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At the top of the survey's list for most accessible was Spain's Madrid-Barajas airport. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in the Netherlands, along with Dubai International Airport in the UAE and Germany's Frankfurt Airport, were tied for second. Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International and Shanghai's Pudong International tied for third.

At the other end of the list, however, five U.S. airports were among the eight having the worst passenger accessibility: LAX in Los Angeles, Denver International Airport (DIA) and all three major metropolitan airports in the New York region: LaGuardia, Newark Liberty and JFK.

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Some of those infrastructure efforts are also occurring as part of regional and local efforts. A 35-minute commuter rail link from Denver's Union Station to DIA is scheduled to be completed next year with funding from a combination of private sector investment and a $1.03 billion Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) from the Federal Transit Administration.

"The train connection to downtown Denver was always a part of the original vision when the 'new' Denver airport was built 20 years ago," DIA spokesperson Laura Coale told CBS MoneyWatch. "We are looking forward to offering the convenience of the train connection to the Denver metro region for travelers."

In New York, state lawmakers are reviewing Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposed state budget, which would allocate billions of dollars for transportation infrastructure, including a new rail link to New York City's LaGuardia Airport.

"But to truly be competitive, we need to bring more innovative access to all of our airports," GGA Chairman Joe Sitt said in a press statement.

"The billions being invested in modernizing our airports simply won't pay off without 21st century transit access to move passengers to and from these hubs," he added, "and that ultimately means a one-seat ride."

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