Hypocrisy At Work At TEB

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Fights BBJs, While Singles Pay More To Land ...

How big is too big? For the people who run Teterboro Airport in New Jersey -- by some standards the busiest GA airport in the country -- the limit is 100,000 pounds, regardless of what the FAA says. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says it will fight FAA pressure to allow larger aircraft into the airport, which now caters to bizjets, charters and well-to-do pistons. At the same time, landing fees for the smaller aircraft may be disproportionately going through the roof. The Port Authority has maintained the 100,000-pound ban for 30 years; the landing fees may not be a ban, but may also serve a similar function.

Teterboro Airport Manager's Bulletin #03-01, dated July 15, 2003, proposes -- according to one FAA volunteer Aviation Safety Advisor who contacted AVweb -- new landing fees that would increase by 146% the charge for an aircraft under 2500 pounds. At the same time, aircraft between 7501 and 12,500 pounds would September 1 see an increase of only 20 percent. The weight limit prevents some private aircraft, including the Boeing Business Jet (a 737 weighing 170,000 pounds) from using the airport. The landing fees make it much less palatable for transient light singles. Rep. Steve Rothman (D-Fair Lawn) told Newsday the FAA wants the BBJ to have access to Teterboro but the Port Authority board is having none of it. The board unanimously passed a resolution asking staff to keep the FAA from having its way. Piston single drivers are still in search of sympathy.

... As NBAA Joins The Debate ...

On August 8th, the NBAA filed comments in support of a proposed FAA policy on weight-based airport access restrictions. "It is vital that the FAA require airports to use legitimate weight-based restrictions only as a legitimate means of protecting airfield pavement, not to mitigate noise concerns by side-stepping the Part 150/161 airport noise process," said Shelley A. Longmuir, NBAA president. While the proposed policy recognizes that in rare instances some restrictions might be necessary as a last resort, it also recognizes that the problem must be based on present load-bearing capacity. In comments filed today supporting the FAA's proposed policy, Longmuir pointed out that present load-bearing capacity must include recognition of the equivalent single-wheel load standard long used by the FAA. The NBAA also pointed out that if access to an airport must be limited because of demonstrated, weight-bearing considerations, any process for allocating access must be transparent and non-discriminatory.

... While Officials Welcome Second Customs Facility

While the debate over landing fees continues, there seems to be a recent consensus on the benefits of a new onsite customs facility. The Teterboro Users Group -- with assistance from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and NBAA -- was instrumental in obtaining a second U.S. Customs facility at Teterboro Airport (TEB) in New Jersey. The first facility is located at Atlantic Aviation and the second will be at Jet Aviation. The chief inspector approved the second facility based on the approximately 5,000 international flights per year at TEB. The opening of this facility is interesting to note, as many aircraft may not choose to land at Teterboro if fees continue to skyrocket.