The New York Times, recently called Teterboro Airport a “crown jewel” of the New York Region, a “headache.” And the noise it brings to the neighbors isn’t the only reason for the pain.
As the effects of sea level rise intensify, Teterboro’s future is at risk. With three feet of sea level rise (likely to occur later this century) much of the airport would be flooded most of the time.
It’s time to invest in transitioning away from Teterboro to other airports across the region, and transitioning the people whose livelihoods depend on the airport to other opportunities. The good news is that there is time to plan for a smooth transition.
Today, Teterboro handles approximately 167,000 annual takeoffs and landings. Some smaller airfields such as Morristown, Stewart, White Plains and Republic will absorb a portion of this traffic. But many of the larger private business jets will search for closer-in airfields with better access to New York City. The two obvious places will be LGA and EWR due to their excellent highway connections and close proximity to the central business district. JFK will also be an option.
This is happening at a time when air passenger travel demand could increase by upwards of 60 percent in 2040 (and double by 2060), and our existing airports are struggling to keep up even with present day demand.
That is why RPA is calling for expansion and modernization efforts at EWR and JFK (work is currently underway at LGA).
This will ensure that the growing demand for air travel can be accommodated, keep us competitive on the global scale and create more job opportunities along with it.
At the same time Teterboro could eventually become part of the Meadowlands National Park proposed in RPA’s Fourth Regional Plan. As an 800-acre floodwater storage site, it would protect the surrounding communities and be part of a nature reserve for use by park visitors.
If we do this now, it can be a gradual and thoughtful process. If we wait, we’ll miss an opportunity to improve a critical piece of infrastructure necessary for the betterment of our nation’s economy.