New York airports operator to run Atlantic City

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The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) approved a lease to operate and maintain the Atlantic City International Airport in southern New Jersey on 20 March.

The authority has the option to buy the airport from the South Jersey Transportation Authority if certain conditions are met, according to the PANYNJ board meeting agenda. It will assume operations of the facility on 1 July.

"Incorporating ACY [Atlantic City] into the Port Authority's network of airports would create a more integrated airport system," it says in the agenda. "The Port Authority recognises that the challenges raised by airport system congestion must be addressed by exploring both expansion at its existing airports and shifting demand to the region's outlying airports."

The PANYNJ operates New York's John F. Kennedy (JFK) International and LaGuardia, Newark Liberty International and Newburgh Stewart International airports. Atlantic City would be the one additional air terminal that is allowed to operate outside its district, which encompasses transportation facilities within 40km (25 miles) of the Statue of Liberty, in New Jersey.

Newburgh is the airport outside of the authority's district that it is allowed to operate in New York.

Atlantic City has a 10-gate terminal and two runways, with commercial air service on Spirit Airlines. It is located in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey.

Passenger traffic was down 0.6% to 1.39 million at Atlantic City airport in 2012, according to South Jersey Transportation Authority data.