Princeton Airport Celebrates Centennial

First flights were held at Rocky Hill site in 1911.

Princeton Airport

Princeton Airport

Princeton Airport in central New Jersey held a celebration and open house to mark the 100th anniversary of the first flights from Rocky Hill, where aviation pioneer Richard Newhouse built and flew his first airplane.

The centennial celebration featured flybys, airplane rides and a chance for the public to visit the local airport, which started as Bohmer’s Field before being rechristened as Princeton Airport in 1929.

Airport owners Naomi and Dick Nierenberg bought the airport in 1985 and, in one of the few notable success stories for a small strip facing community opposition, transformed it into one of the nicest in the state.

“When we bought it, the airport was beautiful and well maintained,” said Naomi Nierenberg, “but it was undeveloped by today’s standards.”

Immediately after purchasing the airport, the Nierenbergs attained FAA reliever airport status, allowing them to make improvements that included extending the runway to 3,500 feet and erecting hangars. A court challenge by the local town created a significant roadblock to expansion, but a superior court ruling finally vindicated the Nierenbergs and the growth continued.

Today, thanks to the Nierenberg’s hard work, the local community is a proud supporter of the Princeton Airport. “We consider the airport a community trust,” said Dick Nierenberg. The centennial celebration, he added, was “a chance for everyone to share in the fun and passion of general aviation.”