New Jersey announces new State Airport System Plan
(Trenton)-Commissioner Kris Kolluri today released the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT)’s State Airport System Plan (SASP), a comprehensive review of New Jersey’s entire airport system.
“The SASP provides a blueprint for directing the development of New Jersey’s airport system,” said Kolluri. “It will help to ensure that the airport system meets the State’s air transportation needs and continues to be a cornerstone of the State’s economic growth, diversification, and development.”
New Jersey’s airport system is one of the most unique and complex in the nation. The State’s diverse airports range in size from small general aviation airports with turf runways to Newark Liberty International Airport, one of the nation’s busiest commercial airports. The airport system’s unique ownership patterns also contribute to its complexity. Approximately 28 of New Jersey’s 46 system airports are privately owned. This ownership distribution contrasts with that of most states. Nationally, airport systems are typically publicly owned by entities including states, counties, city, special authority or another local jurisdiction.
The SASP comprehensively reviews New Jersey’s airport system. It provides a long-term airport system plan; assesses the current performance of the airport system; sets objectives for its future performance; and sets a course to direct the airport system toward SASP’s vision.
The SASP’s key strategy is the preservation of the existing system of public use airports in New Jersey. NJDOT will use a “Fix it First” investment strategy to preserve general aviation facilities and services. Through its implementation of this approach, NJDOT will invest in the rehabilitation and improvement of existing facilities within existing property lines and land use patterns.
New Jersey’s airport system significantly benefits the state economy. As part of the SASP, NJDOT conducted an economic impact analysis which concluded that New Jersey’s general aviation airport system creates more than 18,000 aviation-related and aviation-dependent jobs in the State, with an estimated annual payroll of at least $624.7 million. New Jersey receives an estimated $1.7 billion in annual economic benefits from the operation of the public use airport system and from spending by visitors who arrive in New Jersey via one of the system airports using general aviation. Commercial aviation service provides an additional 216,400 jobs, $6.5 billion in payroll benefits, and $12.2 billion in output.
In addition to the tremendous economic benefit, the airports provide a wealth of services that improve the quality of life in the state and serve as a gateway for the State’s communities.