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104-00: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE , June 29, 2000


The Port Authority Board of Commissioners today began a new era in the privatization of Teterboro Airport, selecting a new operator and approving an agreement that will mean more focus on community concerns and a program of renovation at the 81-year-old airport.

The Board approved a five-year agreement with American Port Services, Inc. (AMPORTS), a premier airport management company. AMPORTS has similar operations and maintenance contracts at a number of airports, including Farmingdale Republic Airport on Long Island, Westchester County Airport in White Plains, and Atlantic City International Airport - as well as airports in Birmingham, Ala., Louisville, Ky., and Maui, Hawaii.

Teterboro, an 827-acre airport serving private planes used by individuals and corporations, is located in the Bergen County boroughs of Teterboro and Moonachie, 12 miles from midtown Manhattan. Since 1970, it has been operated under a 30-year lease - first by Pan American World Airways and, since 1989, by Johnson Controls World Services, Inc.

Port Authority Chairman Lewis M. Eisenberg said, "This agreement provides two important benefits. It will make Teterboro a better neighbor to residents of surrounding communities. And it will direct more capital investment to refurbish and renovate the airport.

"Teterboro is a vital asset to the region's economy because it is strategically located near corporate headquarters in New York and New Jersey, and convenient to the Meadowlands Sports Complex and to Wall Street," he said. "Many businesses have located in southern Bergen County to be near the transportation opportunities afforded by Teterboro."

Chairman Eisenberg said that the airport has more than 1,000 employees, virtually all of whom live within 15 miles of the airport.

Executive Director Robert E. Boyle said, "Under this agreement, the Port Authority and the private sector will work together to provide a first-class airport with a strong emphasis on community relations, just as we do at Kennedy International, Newark International and LaGuardia airports. AMPORTS will draw on its extensive airport management experience to carry out daily operations. The Port Authority will be responsible for developing an overall master plan and capital investment program, as it is at its other three airports.

"One significant change is that under this agreement, the majority of the revenue from airport operations will be returned to the Port Authority, for much-needed reinvestment in Teterboro Airport."

William R. DeCota, Director of Aviation, said that Teterboro's runways and hangars and other buildings need extensive modernization. And, he said, ties must be strengthened with surrounding communities that are sensitive to issues of aircraft noise and airport development.

"We plan to begin the improvement process with a series of immediate steps," Mr. DeCota said. He said they include:

--> a walkway to keep youngsters safe as they head for the ballfields built on airport property across Redneck Avenue;

--> a paved and landscaped parking area along Fred Wheran Drive for aviation buffs to pull up and watch airplanes;

--> improvements in traffic flow, including new signals and a new turning lane from Route 46 to Fred Wheran Drive. In addition, the Port Authority is evaluating the realignment of Red Neck Road and improving its intersection with Moonachie Ave.

--> an attractive new fence and landscaping along the airport's perimeter on Route 46; and

--> as previously announced, an extension of the school soundproofing program to include Bergen County Vocational School in Teterboro, and to St. Francis School and Jackson Avenue School in Hackensack.

"One of my highest priorities as Director of Aviation for the Port Authority is improving our ties to the communities around Teterboro," said Mr. DeCota. "I want residents and elected officials alike to know that we are listening to their concerns, and will do everything we can to address them."

Teterboro is one of the oldest operating airports in the nation. Walter C. Teter acquired the property in 1917 and North American Aviation operated a manufacturing plant on the site. The first flight from the present airport site was made in 1919.

The Port Authority purchased the airport in 1949 from Fred L. Wheran, a private owner.



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