airport closure

NJ Township Plans to Close Airport With Turf Runway

Trinca Airport is set to close on Sept. 1

Trinca Airport
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What to Know

  • New Jersey's Trinca Airport is set to be closed on Sept. 1.
  • Aircraft take off and land on a turf runway at the Green Township airstrip.
  • Mayor Margaret Phillips, who serves on the township committee, said financial and safety considerations drove the decision.

A New Jersey township says it plans to shut down an airport it purchased almost two decades ago and will continue to review possible future uses for the 121-acre site.

NJ.com reports that the 81-year-old Trinca Airport in Sussex County, where planes take off and land on a turf runway, will be shut down Sept. 1.

Green Township bought the airport 18 years ago for $2.28 million. Officials began holding public discussions on its future in 2018, about a year after the pilot of an amateur-built aircraft was killed in a crash at the end of the runway.

Mayor Margaret Phillips, who serves on the township committee, said financial and safety considerations drove the decision. Phillips said the township receives no revenue from Trinca and doesn't charge for flying in or out, but annual expenses are $15,000, including approximately $6,000 for a part-time airport manager and maintenance.

Phillips said a bigger financial concern was unknown future costs, such as any improvements ordered by the Federal Aviation Administration or U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The New Jersey Aviation Association expressed regret Friday at the closure decision. Executive director Suzanne Solberg Nagle said the number of public-use airports in New Jersey had declined from 82 in 1950 to 42 last year.

Damian DelGaizo, owner of the nearby Andover Flight Academy, said the airport is used by flight schools, since learning how to land on a soft field is among the requirements in getting a pilot's license. He said it's also popular among pilots of antique planes, such as World War II-era Piper Cubs, that "fare better on grass."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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