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Photos by Fritz Rethage  -- Story posted July 27, 2003

FAA proposes lifting 100,000 pound limit

For the past two years, Boeing Co.has been lobbying to get its 135,000 pound converted 737 Business Jet into Teterboro and other smaller general aviation airports. Currently, planes over 100,000 pounds are barred from Teterboro because they may damage the runways.

A July 1 FAA proposal wants airports to allow larger jets to take off and land.  This includes accepting heavier planes on a limited basis, or by increasing the durability of the airport runways.

Port Authority officials say the proposal could open the door to other planes that usually fly to Newark. The Port Authority states that it plans to fight the proposal by providing engineering proof that the runways cannot accept jets larger than 100,000 pounds.

Rep. Steve Rothman, D - Fairlawn, has put a clause into the House Appropriations Committee that would prevent the FAA from using money to change the weight restrictions at Teterboro. The committee has approved the bill and it will go the full House in September.   Rothman stated that Newark, La Guardia and JFK are designed for those kinds of aircraft, not Teterboro.

Rothman has made reducing noise and traffic a key issue.  In 2002 he helped ban the oldest and nosiest jets from using Teterboro, and secured a promise from the FAA to keep large jets out of Teterboro -- a pledge he says they just broke. In 2003, he worked on a bill to stop public charter flights that mimic passenger airlines. The bill cleared the House and is waiting for a vote by the Senate.

Assemblywoman Rose Heck held a public meeting Monday, July 28, 2003, 7 p.m. at the VFW, 513 Veterans Place, Hasbrouck Heights. See photos below. On August 14, 2003,  Heck sent 4,000 signatures to the FAA expressing opposition to the increase aircraft size plans.

Boeing has been pressuring the FAA since 1999 to force Teterboro to accept its Business Jet.  As recently as June 2003, it has asked the FAA to investigate the lack of access at Teterboro for jets over 100,000.  Boeing contributes heavily to political campaigns.

Boeing Business Jets without internal furnishings sells for about $40 million. Customers usually spend another $10 million to outfit the 800 square feet on interior space with conference rooms, bedrooms, showers, etc..  The plane can fly from Teterboro to Paris non-stop. An outfitted plane weights about 135,000 to 171,000 pounds. Boeing has 82 orders for the Business Jet and has filled 65 already.

FAA Proposal Details
  The proposal applies to all airports that use federal money.
  Airport operators must design new or rehabilitated runaways that can handle every plane expected to use their airfield.
  Runways designed for lighter loads can occasionally handle heavier planes without a problem.
  To keep out heavier planes, airport operators must prove that the excess weight will damage runways.
  An airport cannot use a weight restriction to bar nosier planes.

Source:  The Record, July 23, 24, 27, 2003

Sample letter to FAA in Word format -- Due August 15, 2003

Congressman Steve Rothman's [Press release] July 24, 2003

PA to fight FAA [Press release in Word format] July 31, 2003

PA girding for battle over 737s at Teterboro [Record story] July 30, 2003

PA Says No [Press release in Word format] August 19, 2003

PA Chair says "No Heavier Jets Using Teterboro" [Record] August 24, 2003

FAA comments:  Due by August 15, 2003
Weight Based Restrictions at Airport; Proposed policy -- request for comments Federal Register, July 1, 2003 Notices [pdf]

Meeting Photos
Assemblywoman Rose Heck sponsored a public meeting at the VFW on July 28, 2003.
This bi-partisan meeting was well attended by many of the elected officials in the Teterboro area.

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View mpg movie of this room

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Congressman Steve Rothman (D 9th)

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Assemblywoman Rose Marie Heck (R-38th)

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Moonachie Mayor Frederick J. Dressel

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Hasbrouck Heights Mayor William J. Torre

Public officials addressing public comments
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In 1999, a twin engine plane crashed in the backyard of Height's resident Margaret Jengo.

Television stations Channel 2, 7 and 9, along with various print media covered this meeting.

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