Press Release Article


Date: Mar 29, 2011
Press Release Number: 17-2011

Latest action brings private sector investment secured at EWR in 2011 to $178.5 million

Readying for the 2014 Super Bowl at the Meadowlands, the Port Authority’s board of commissioners today approved a lease extension with Signature Flight Support Corp. and a new first-class lounge for Virgin Atlantic Airlines. The two board actions will mean improved access for private plane passengers and economic growth at Newark Liberty International Airport with the creation of 80 jobs and nearly $15 million in private investment.

The Signature deal allows the company to handle private flights at Newark Liberty through August 2024 with its continued lease of Hanger 15 and approximately 11 acres of property. Signature agreed to invest $11 million before the Super Bowl in 2014 for a new passenger terminal and ramp renovations, initiatives that are expected to result in 80 jobs, $4 million in wages and $19.5 million in economic activity over the project’s life. Thirty of the jobs will be in construction and will amount to $2 million in direct payroll wages.

Also yesterday, the Port Authority’s board approved a new first-class lounge for Virgin Atlantic Airways, one of the airport’s largest international carriers. Virgin Atlantic will sign an 11-year deal under a new lease for a nearly 5,000 square-foot lounge for passengers at Terminal B, which will mean $4.4 million in rent. Additionally, the airline agreed to pay for an estimated $3.5 million worth of improvements to the lounge prior to the Super Bowl.

These initiatives follow one announced last month by New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and the Port Authority with the Newark Marriott that will extend the hotel’s lease for another 40 years. In return, the Marriott’s owner, Host Hotels & Resorts, agreed to invest $164 million -- $34 million before the 2014 game -- in capacity and infrastructure improvements. This will mean 250 total jobs, $14 million in wages and $60 million in economic activity over the life of the extended lease. One hundred ten of the jobs will be in construction and will amount to $7 million in payroll wages.

“I am proud of the Board’s action today – the latest in a series of actions to secure private investment in our airports. This action is consistent with Governor Christie’s plan to create jobs and stimulate economic activity for New Jersey and in keeping with the Port Authority’s mission to strengthen the economic competitiveness of the region,' said Port Authority Chairman David Samson.

“Today’s actions are another example of the Port Authority’s continuing investments in our airports and the region’s economic future,” said Chris Ward, the Port Authority’s executive director. “Passengers will see the ongoing benefits of more airport services and travel opportunities.”

“These improvements at Newark Liberty will create hundreds of new jobs and generate billions in economic activity for New Jersey’’ said Bill Baroni, the agency’s deputy executive director. “These initiatives will not only pay dividends in the short-term as we prepare to serve as the gateway to the Super Bowl, but also in the long-term as we continue working hard to provide our passengers with more options and better facilities.”

Virgin’s Atlantic new lounge is part of the complete overhaul of Terminal B under the Port Authority’s ongoing $347.1 million terminal modernization project that will add a new level to the structure. The project features expanded space for security operations, new ticketing and baggage carousel areas and a new welcome center for both domestic and international travelers.

This week also marked the arrival of Southwest Airlines to Terminal A at Newark Liberty. Southwest, which will have approximately 70 full-time positions at Newark Liberty, will invest $2.2 million in the terminal and the deal will provide $44 million in lease revenue for the agency.

Southwest began daily operations on Sunday between Newark Liberty and Chicago Midway and St. Louis, with daily service scheduled to begin on June 5 to Baltimore/Washington International, Denver, Houston Hobby and Phoenix Sky Harbor.

In other business yesterday, the Port Authority’s board also authorized the eventual acquisition of property in New Jersey and Staten Island needed to construct a new Goethals Bridge.

Contact: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Ron Marsico, 212-435-7777

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, Stewart International and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Port Authority Auto Marine Terminal; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan and is a partner in the Access to the Region’s Core tunnel project.

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