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Tue, Feb 20, 2024

FAA Halts Expansion at Lakewood Airport, Due To Sport-Aviation Bias

Expansion Plans at New Jersey Airport Halted Over Skydiving Operations

The FAA has stepped in to pause expansion plans at Lakewood Municipal Airport thanks to the township's distaste for skydiving operations -- despite the airport's extensive history with the sport.

Lakewood Airport management doesn't like any of their new expansion being earmarked for parachuting, skydiving, and the like, but the airport's receipt of federal dollars in the past means they have to allow a wide range of aeronautical use -- because, of course, those are the rules. Until then, the FAA confirms that ISkyDive America, a regional skydiving company from Michigan, will retain its footing there.

“I don’t understand why tens of millions of dollars in development is on the hook for someone who wants to drop parachutes,” said an apparently sport-aviation ignorant Mayor Ray Coles. “They had said that until we figure out what to do for this parachute group they will not approve our development plans for the area around the airport.”

Management opposes the skydiving ops over safety, saying that Lakewood is already too busy with other GA commercial use like training, banner tow, and the like. “You have 20 planes a day that are making multiple (banner flights),” said Steve Reinman, executive director of the Lakewood Industrial Commission that operates the airport. “And that is a lot of traffic between Memorial Day well into September and sometimes October.”

FMI: www.faa.gov

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