Plan to build new terminal at Trenton-Mercer Airport gets greenlight from FAA
A plan to build a new terminal at Trenton-Mercer Airport just got one step closer to breaking ground after getting the greenlight from the Federal Aviation Administration.
The airport is set to get a new 120,000-square-foot terminal.
"We've outgrown this terminal exponentially," says Aaron T. Watson, deputy administrator for Mercer County. "Right now, it's an antiquated 1970s style terminal. I will tell you that we are often at capacity there with respect to the amount of volume that we have there and when in fact we have a delay in one of our flights, it becomes problematic for us."
The new terminal will have four gates and will improve baggage handling and access to the planes. The FAA issued a finding of no significant impact report that gives the project the go-ahead after a 60-day window, allowing for appeals to be filed.
Trenton Threatened Skies, a citizen formed group, is hoping to stop the project. The group is concerned about air and noise pollution and the possibility of hazardous chemicals getting into the Delaware River.
"There is a risk of PFAS contamination to the river, which is a source of drinking water for millions of people," says Judy Hoechner, a member of Trenton Threatened Skies. "There is known high levels of PFAS, the hazardous forever chemical on the naval property."
Watson understands the concern about the water system but says this is a "very diligent process that the DEP is making us undertake and we certainly plan to do whatever it takes to make certain it's safe."
Mercer County officials say once the 60-day waiting period is over, they do plan on moving forward in the process. If an appeal is filed, they will have to wait.
Trenton Threatened Skies says it plans to file an appeal.
"We will be asking the appeals court to review this decision by the FAA that building this major commercial facility will not be impacting the region," says Hoechner.
The county says it hopes to break ground on the new terminal this winter. The project should take two to three years to build.
The existing terminal will remain in operation until then.