Lawmakers wage fight
against heavier jets
By Lisa Goodnight, Staff Writer
TETERBORO Two New Jersey lawmakers fighting to keep Teterboro Airport from getting noisier and bigger are scheduled to speak out today while the Port Authority tries to address those issues and still "work with the community."
Rep. Steve Rothman, D-Fair Lawn, is to hold an 11 a.m. news conference at Teterboro Municipal Hall to oppose the landing of Boeing Business Jets, which weigh 70,000 pounds more than the heaviest plane now flying into Teterboro.
Assemblywoman Loretta Weinberg, D-Fort Lee, is to meet privately with Port Authority officials in her Teaneck office this afternoon to find out if the proposed $92 million earmarked for Teterboro would result in a bigger airport.
Bill DeCota, the director of aviation for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said his agency which operates Teterboro and the three major metropolitan airports does not want to allow heavier planes or increase the size of the airport.
"We fully support the community position," DeCota said. "Its not the objective to see the airport grow in size . We want the airport to exist in harmony with the community."
Although Rothmans office and the Port Authority appear to be on the same page, Boeing can appeal to the Federal Aviation Administration and perhaps get approval to land its heavier jets in Teterboro.
Port Authority and Boeing officials have been meeting for two years on that issue and are to discuss the heavier planes again today. The FAA is acting as mediator.
Steve Barlage, a regional sales director for Boeing Business Jets, said planes of the same category and class operate daily at Teterboro safely and efficiently. He said the only difference is that the business jet is heavier.
"Its a Stage 3 airplane," Barlage said, a reference to its status among the quietest aircraft on the market. "Its the latest and greatest technology for aircraft. Theres no more air traffic. Theres no more noise."
Rothman said municipal, County, and state officials planned to attend the news conference. "Im hopeful that the FAA under President Bush will deny any waiver of the 100,000-pound weight limits," Rothman said.
"This is a very strong and clear message that all of the people of this region and all the elected officials, Democrats and Republicans alike, feel that the business jet has no place at Teterboro Airport because of aircraft safety and air noise," Rothman said.