Referring to regular operations at Teterboro (N.J.) Airport (TEB), Bergen County (N.J.) freeholder Anthony Cassano said, “This is nothing less than an attack of the skies similar to that which happened on September 11. We are not going to stand for it. We’re not going to take it. This attack must stop.” Cassano’s remarks came at an anti-airport rally in October at an elementary school near the airport. He later told AIN he apologized if his remarks offended anyone.
The county freeholders, led by Cassano, have joined mayors representing 11 towns surrounding TEB in filing a lawsuit to block $92 million in budgeted improvements at the airport, which serves mostly business aviation. Cassano’s freeholders and the mayors say the airport is polluting the neighborhood, and they want to commission an 18-month $250,000 environmental study, paid for by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, which owns and operates TEB. The lawsuit also demands that all improvement work be delayed until the suit is settled. A Port Authority spokesman said his agency has already commissioned its own environmental study by Rutgers University and is waiting for the results. He did not respond to Cassano’s remark comparing takeoffs and landings at TEB to the terrorist attacks, except to ask, “Does he realize [the Port Authority] lost 84 employees [in the World Trade Center atrocity]?