Elmira/Corning, N.Y.-based FirstFlight assumed operational control of the Downtown Manhattan Heliport on November 1. The heliport, located at Pier 6 on the East River in Lower Manhattan, is a primary source of helicopter service for corporate and tourism traffic, while also offering scheduled service to John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty International Airports.
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
The Department of Transportation is pressing forward with plans to auction takeoff and landing slots at the three major New York-area airports, despite a GAO opinion that the department did not have the authority to do so. The DOT’s announcement drew immediate condemnation from the Air Transport Association (ATA), which called the idea ill-conceived and said that it will result in a lengthy and costly legal challenge.
For the first time ever an NBAA Convention site has been chosen as the venue for Teterboro Airport to hand out its annual Good Neighbor Awards recognizing business jet operators who fly in such a way as to avoid noise-sensitive areas around the bustling New Jersey airport.
In response to the FAA’s decision last week to reduce the number of hourly slots available for general aviation operators at New York La Guardia Airport (LGA) from six to three, NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen maintains that the FAA is emphasizing operational limitations at the airport instead of focusing on measures to increase capacity there.
The comment period closed last month on an FAA notice of proposed policy making on airport weight-bearing restrictions (www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html “search line” number 15495). The proposal drew most of its response from those opposed to the FAA setting such standards.
A story in The Bergen Record, a Northern New Jersey newspaper, opened a floodgate of protests from residents of communities surrounding Teterboro Airport. It reported that the FAA had posted a notice in the Federal Register to the effect that it was calling into question the action of some airports banning aircraft above certain weights from landing at their facilities.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is making a highly public issue of battling the FAA’s proposed policy on defining airport weight-bearing capability in its efforts to keep the FAA from forcing Teterboro to accept “large planes." Local politicians, including New Jersey Governor James McGreevy, have joined the Port Authority in condemning the FAA.
A spokesman for Embraer confirmed that the Brazilian airplane manufacturer repossessed the two leased aircraft it delivered earlier this year to Chicago-based Indigo. It has also canceled the company’s remaining firm order for 23 more Legacy Shuttles.
Indigo, the provider of “regular and frequent” business jet service between Chicago Midway Airport and Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, suspended flights early last month, three months after a relaunch of operations on March 3.
“We fell short on the equity side,” said Indigo chairman and CEO Peter Pappas, by way of a terse explanation. “For the time being, we’re going to focus on our charter and corporate business.”
A comprehensive pilot training and briefing system is available online (www.airportflightcrewbriefing.com/Teterboro) to help pilots prepare for flights into and out of Teterboro Airport. The briefing was produced by NATA’s Safety 1st program and Avstar Media and funded by an FAA grant.