The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said it will review Atlantic City International Airport and possible assumption of the airport as a way to expand the region’s flight capacity.
The authority's board of commissioners on Thursday authorized spending up to $3 million to review the financial, legal, environmental and business issues related to the possible assumption.
The airport is owned by the South Jersey Transportation Authority, which was established in 1991 by the state of New Jersey to assume operational responsibilities
for the airport and the Atlantic City Expressway.
The port authority said its action was an outgrowth of 2007 bi-state legislation that permitted it to establish an additional air terminal in New York and another in New Jersey.
In November 2007, the port authority acquired a leasehold interest in Stewart International Airport near Newburgh, N.Y., as a regional reliever commercial airport for John F. Kennedy International, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International airports. The port authority also owns Teterboro, a small airport for commuter planes.
The port authority said Atlantic City International Airport accommodated an all-time high of 1.4 million travelers in 2010 and its facilities offer significant opportunity for future growth to help serve the city’s gaming industry needs, along with the growing travel needs of the rest of the New Jersey region.
A $25 million,
75,000-square-foot expansion of the airport was completed earlier this year that added a federal inspection station for
international flights, three passenger boarding bridges and a larger
baggage claim area.
“One of the port authority’s critical missions is to move air travelers and air cargo as efficiently as possible and studying a possible role involving the operations of Atlantic City International Airport fits that goal,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. “Last year, the port authority handled roughly 106 million passengers at its four commercial airports, a figure expected to increase significantly over the next 20 years.” - Chris Dupin