The Atlantic City International Airport Fire Department opened its new Airport Rescue and Firefighting (AARF) complex today, creating a modernized station for responding to emergencies at the largest airport in South Jersey.
Funded primarily with an FAA grant, the $15.4M facility created more than 275 construction jobs and was completed less than two years after its October 2011 groundbreaking. The new, two-level complex replaces a facility that dates to the mid-1960s.
“As incident response time is crucial, the new FAA funded facility will enable the airport rescue and firefighters the ability to respond rapidly to any event on the airfield and throughout the airport complex with state of the art equipment,” said Congressman Frank LoBiondo. The Congressman, Chairman of the Aviation Sub-Committee, advocated for the necessary FAA funds to construct the modern facility.
The station’s signature large drive-through bays allow fire trucks and other emergency vehicles immediate access to the airport’s airfield for quick rescue operations and are designed to accommodate the next generation of potentially bigger aircrafts. The airport’s rescue team responds to aircraft emergencies, on-site structural fires, vehicular accidents and medical calls, as well as assisting communities in Atlantic County on mutual aid calls.
“Safety and security are the airport highest priorities and this 21st century-ready Airport Rescue and Firefighting complex will help safeguard Atlantic City International Airport, its travelers and employees for decades to come,’’ said NJDOT Commissioner James S. Simpson. “This new facility is an early step toward our goal of improving South Jersey’s premier travel gateway.”
“This new firefighting facility includes an airport emergency operations center that was previously housed elsewhere, a consolidation that will better serve the airport,” said Sam Donelson, SJTA Acting Executive Director.
Twenty firefighters and emergency response personnel are based at the Atlantic City Airport AARF. The new AARF building will contain a relocated 800 mhz radio system, which is part of the statewide emergency response interoperability system. Additionally, upgraded equipment has been added to the complex’s emergency operations center to improve services.
The new facility’s living area will meet the needs of on-duty firefighters, while providing quick access to equipment to respond to alarms.
Atlantic City Airport also recently acquired through FAA grants two new AARF vehicles, a 3,000-gallon capacity firefighting vehicle with a high-reach turret and a mobile command unit.
About Atlantic City International Airport
Atlantic City International Airport (ACY) is located in the heart of Southern New Jersey in Egg Harbor Township and twelve miles from Atlantic City. Owned and operated by the South Jersey Transportation Authority in collaboration with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, ACY sits on 5,300 acres of land and is a joint use airport. Today, ACY serves 1.4 million passengers annually. The FAA's William J. Hughes Technical Center is located adjacent to the airport site and houses the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Transportation Security Laboratory. ACY is home to the Air National Guard, the 177th Fighter Wing "Jersey Devils" and the U.S. Coast Guard. For more information, visit www.acairport.com