Editorial, Politician Challenge Safety of Teterboro Airport

As the 56th busiest airport in the country, New Jersey's Teterboro is constantly in the crosshairs of political critics. Opened in 1919, the 827-acre facility has seen a 25% downturn in traffic in recent years, but the increase in jet traffic has neighbors worried and local politicians walking a fine line. A Monday editorial in the Newark Star Ledger titled, "Too Many Close Calls at Teterboro Airport" leads with, "Hundreds of times a day, they play chicken at Teterboro Airport." And later: "…planes tickle the leaves on neighborhood trees…" The Piper Lance involved in the Aug. 8 collision over the Hudson River took off from Teterboro. Days later, a pharmaceutical courier Beech Baron crashed off the airport during an attempted go-around in the early morning hours. It came to rest and burned in a warehouse parking lot and the pilots walked away with serious burns. Still, state representative Steven Rothman (D - 9th District) hedges his bets when discussing what to do - or not do - about Teterboro. Long a vocal opponent of the airport, Rothman now says, "The community decides that it must be closed, or it doesn't. So far, it has decided that, as long as the airport continues to make strides in being a good neighbor, it will stay open. Despite everything, it's the source of much-needed economic activity, especially in a recession." Rothman goes on to warn the airport, however, that if it does not continue to "make progress on safety and other good-neighbor issues, we reserve the right to shut it down."

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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