Congressman (Loudly) Threatens FAA Over TEB

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New Jersey Rep. Steven Rothman says the FAA will regret it if the agency continues to stand in the way of local authorities who want to curb flights into Teterboro Airport. "If the FAA were to punish the Port Authority for taking any of these actions, I would use every ounce of strength I had, and every bit of support I have on the House subcommittee, and every other legislative means, to make the FAA wish that they had never even heard of Teterboro," Rothman, a Democrat, told Bloomberg News. Rothman is part of the chorus of discontent that is trying to reduce traffic at the airport, which caters mainly to private aircraft delivering VIPs and business leaders to Manhattan's doorstep. There are signs, however, that the issue will resolve itself naturally as overcrowding impacts the airport's convenience. "I'd rather be in traffic on the Long Island Expressway," said Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. Chief Executive Officer James Hagedorn, who's been kept waiting on the ramp once too often. TEB is one of the busiest airports on the East Coast and its two runways recorded 202,000 operations last year. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, local politicians and federal representatives like Rothman want a 10-percent reduction in operations and they also want to further reduce the maximum weight of aircraft using the facility to 80,000 pounds from 100,000 pounds. But the FAA says it won't let that happen without a fight and it's threatened to demand repayment of grants it's issued for airport improvements if the restrictions are imposed. Those grants always come with the rider that the airport remain accessible to the public. "The FAA is resisting us," Port Authority spokesman Marc La Vorgna said. "Our belief is that we have the right to make these restrictions."