Officials are expected to vote Wednesday on the terms of an operations agreement that will allow the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to take over the Atlantic City International Airport.
In March, the South Jersey Transportation Authority, which operates the airport, and the Port Authority both voted to begin negotiations for an arrangement that would begin July 1. The agreement is expected to include an option to purchase.
The boards of both authorities will meet Wednesday. An agenda for the SJTA’s meeting lists a vote on the agreement. No details of the arrangement are included in the agenda item, which is listed as a “placeholder.” SJTA spokesman Kevin Rehmann said additional information will be available after the meeting.
The Port Authority’s agenda will not be available until Tuesday afternoon.
Legislation approved in 2007 allows the Port Authority to take over an airport outside of its jurisdiction in New Jersey. Gov. Chris Christie, who has signed off on the Port Authority’s involvement, has said increased air travel is key in his plan to position Atlantic City as a more popular, clean and safe tourist destination.
The airport has struggled to retain carriers and currently has just one scheduled carrier, Spirit Airlines, which has reduced the number of flights out of the airport in the first four months of the year by nearly 28 percent.
Tourism District legislation approved in 2011 allowed for any proceeds from the sale or lease of the airport to be distributed evenly among eight South Jersey counties for transportation improvements. It’s expected, however, that neither a sale nor lease arrangement will be used immediately in Atlantic City.
Instead, the Port Authority is expected to bring a management team to the airport for a designated period of time.
The Port Authority meets at 1 p.m. Wednesday at its offices in New York City. SJTA meets at 3 p.m. Wednesday at its administration building at the Farley Service Plaza in Hamilton Township.
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