Port Authority Approved to Take Over AC Airport

NEW YORK (AP) -

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey moved closer to taking over operations of Atlantic City’s airport, a transfer aimed at reducing congestion at its other airports and luring back southern New Jersey passengers who fly out of Philadelphia.

Port authority board Chairman David Samson said he expected the agency to assume operations by July, after negotiations with the South Jersey Transportation Authority, the airport’s current operator.

The authority sees the Atlantic City airport as underutilized. According to port authority deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni, the airport could accommodate up to 300 flights per day. Currently it has about 27, he said.

“We’re hoping that by capitalizing on our relationships with existing carriers and our experience running five airports, we will be successful,” Samson said.

The authority operates three major New York area airports — Kennedy, LaGuardia, and Newark — plus Teterboro in New Jersey and Stewart in New York. The three large airports annually handle more than 100 million passengers, and delays at any of the three often have a ripple effect throughout the U.S.

Legislation in 2007 in both New York and New Jersey empowered the authority to establish one additional air terminal in each state. The port authority acquired its interest in Stewart in 2007.

Gov. Chris Christie gave his approval to the Atlantic City plan late Tuesday.