April 19, 2007

Mr. Charles Saydah
Editor, Letters to the Editor
The Bergen Record
150 River St
Hackensack, NJ 07601


Dear Editor:

A recent article (“Private Jets Use Newark, Delay Commercial Flights,” April 18), would have readers believe that business aircraft are a significant factor in traffic management at Newark Airport. Too bad the article didn’t tell the whole story.

As readers know, a once-in-a-century storm hit the metro area last weekend. The storm flooded Teterboro Airport – a reliever airfield for Newark used by business aircraft operators – leaving it underwater and unsafe for use. Over a two-day period, some planes that would otherwise use Teterboro diverted to other area airports, including Newark.

The airlines inferred that the unusual number of mostly small and mid-size aircraft at Newark was a routine occurrence as they complained that the presence of the airplanes impacted airline departures, inconveniencing passengers. In truth, because business aircraft normally account for a tiny portion of traffic at giant airline hubs like Newark, the situation earlier this week was very rare. It can hardly be depicted as the norm.

Instead of pointing fingers, the airlines should have pointed out how the events of recent days underscore the importance of local community reliever airports like Teterboro. Unfortunately, the airlines’ Washington lobbying group supports a funding bill for the Federal Aviation Administration that would slash funding for the local airports nationwide that provide the same invaluable services as Teterboro Airport.

Ed Bolen

President and CEO, National Business Aviation Association