EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – Officials at the Atlantic City International Airport, the launching point for Wednesday’s massive Atlantic City Air Show, are gearing up the runways for an influx of show aircraft that began on Sunday and continues today and tomorrow.
The airport is at the epicenter of the huge logistical challenge – that is, clearing the path for arrivals and departures of show aircraft while, at the same time, maintaining scheduled commercial, charter and general aviation flights for on time departures and arrivals.
“We are proud to be a vital partner in pulling off this fabulous action packed one-day community event,” The airport is responsible for all aircraft ground movement and coordinating with the FAA tower all take-off and landings. “This is a challenge we welcome, this one-day show enables staff to hone airside skills without encumbering the airfield,” said Airport Director Thomas Rafter.
Rafter noted that the South Jersey Transportation Authority, which owns and operates the Atlantic City International Airport, has agreed to waive landing fees for all aircraft associated with the air show.
Among the issues that must be resolved when accommodating an air show of this size is the scheduling of aircraft and maintaining adequate emergency services and firefighting personnel at the airport, said Rafter.
“The high performance aircraft used in this show schedule present an exciting challenge to airport staff,” said Rafter, noting that the airport and MidLantic, the fixed base operator at ACY prides itself on providing excellent airside services.
ACY is one of the few airports in the region that has the size, the equipment and the ability to accommodate a one-day air show of this magnitude, said Rafter.
“One of the advantages of producing this air show is access to an airport of this size,” said Rafter. “Runways are large and well equipped and can handle any size aircraft. In fact, NASA has designated ACY as an alternative landing site for the space shuttle.”
ACY has two runways, one 10,000 feet long and 150 feet wide and another 6,144 feet long and 150 feet wide, and both equipped with state-of-the-art instrument landing systems.
In addition to gearing up at the airport, the Atlantic City Expressway has taken steps to ensure a smooth flow of traffic into the area. The Pleasantville Plaza, the gateway to the city, has E-ZPass Express lanes which allow motorists to keep left and keep moving, by using the Express E-ZPass lanes motorists can enter Atlantic City swiftly without stopping.
“We are more than ready. We expect a large turnout and are excited about the prospect of accommodating even more visitors to Atlantic City than last year to see this riveting air show,” said Wade Lawson, Director of Tourist Services for the SJTA.
SJTA also operates three reasonably priced parking facilities in Atlantic City on Atlantic, Fairmount and New York Avenues, all featuring E-ZPass Plus, which affords E-ZPass subscribers a convenient, fast way to pay for parking.