AOPA and the New Jersey Aviation Association (NJAA) are urging pilots to contact their state legislators and encourage them to secure more funding for aeronautic programs, which have been drastically underfunded in recent years.
Currently, New Jersey’s capital grant program for airports averages less than $5 million in annual funding, while data shows the state’s public-use airports need annual funding of $23 million just to keep pace with existing aviation infrastructure needs.
AOPA and the NJAA have been working to preserve these smaller privately owned airports, as they are essential for general aviation’s vitality in the state and are key components of economic development. According to a 2016 statewide economic impact study, New Jersey airports generate more than $2.8 billion in GA output.
In recent years, the lack of aeronautical funding has had detrimental effects on GA airports in the state. Trinca Airfield closed in 2020 and Flying W—a once-thriving destination airfield with more than 100 based aircraft—is expected to be shut down for redevelopment.
AOPA’s legislative call to action was sent to approximately 600 members who reside in New Jersey, and whose representatives in state government have the power to preserve the state’s airports and correct the increasing gap in aeronautical funding.