TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Ned Thomson’s bill that allows county airports to operate independently was signed into law on Friday.
The legislation (A2861) permits county governments to manage an airport as a public utility, which would separate it from other county accounts and aid in expansion and economic development. It also allows counties to issue bonds for airport acquisition and operation under the Local Bond Law.
“This is a permissive bill that would allow county airports to remove barriers to expansion and boost the economy,” Thomson (R-Monmouth) explained. “Removing the red-tape for our county-owned airports will increase efficiency and allow much-needed safety improvements to move forward, which would also support good jobs.”
The two county-owned airports in the state affected by this bill are Trenton-Mercer and Ocean. A county airport utility is similar to that of a county utilities authority where the authority’s members determine the budget and operations, not the county’s commissioners or county executive.