State of New Jersey
Executive Order #78

Governor James E. McGreevey
WHEREAS, New Jersey has a diverse and active air transportation system, consisting of 3 commercial air carrier airports, 45 public use general aviation airports, 77 special and restricted use airports and 361 heliports; and

WHEREAS, the public use general aviation airports are a critical part of New Jersey's multimodal transportation and economic infrastructure, serving corporate, business, recreational and flight training activity; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey is home to over 15,000 FAA licensed aviators and 4,000 permanently based general aviation aircraft, 90% of which are based at 32 "core" general aviation airports in New Jersey; and

WHEREAS, the general aviation industry in New Jersey helps generate nearly $4.6 billion in economic activity annually and provides the state's workforce with approximately 70,000 jobs related to all aspects of civil aviation; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey's general aviation transportation infrastructure is critical for the continued support and growth of New Jersey-based corporate headquarters and plays a key role in the retention and attraction of major businesses and industrial firms to the state; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey has seen a decline in the number of its public use general aviation airports in the past few decades, shrinking from 82 in 1950 to only 45 such facilities in 2003; and

WHEREAS, the most recent public use general aviation airport built in New Jersey was in 1983 and since then 13 such facilities have closed; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey's system of public use general aviation airports is unique in that more than half of these airports are privately owned, as opposed to publicly owned, and are thus particularly vulnerable to sale to developers, closure and conversion to more profitable non-aviation uses; and

WHEREAS, the continued long-term loss of public use general aviation airports is the biggest single threat to the future viability of New Jersey's overall aviation system; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey is committed to both arresting the decline of its existing general aviation airport infrastructure and preserving and rehabilitating its core airport system, consistent with the principles of "Fix-it-First" and "Smart Growth";

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JAMES E. MCGREEVEY, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

  1. There is hereby established a General Aviation Review Commission ("Commission") to examine and evaluate the current status and future prospects of New Jersey's general aviation airport system.

  2. The Commission shall be within the Department of Transportation and consist of seventeen (17) members whom shall include the following:

    1. Commissioner of the Department of Transportation, or his designee;

    2. Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, or his designee;

    3. Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, or her designee;

    4. State Treasurer, or his designee;

    5. Director of the State Planning Commission, or his designee;

    6. Twelve (12) public members, to be appointed by the Governor, nine (9) of whom shall include the following: a representative of the League of Municipalities, a member of the New Jersey Aviation Association, a licensed commercial pilot, a licensed recreational pilot, a regional transportation official, a person with knowledge of aviation security, an owner/manager of a general aviation airport, a flight school owner or faculty member, a person with expertise in land use matters. The remaining three (3) public members shall have a general interest and/or expertise in aviation matters.

  3. The Governor shall appoint the Chair of the Commission from among its members. The Commission shall organize as soon as may be practicable after the appointment of its members. The members shall appoint a secretary, who need not be a member of the Commission.

  4. It shall be the charge and duty of the Commission to accomplish the following:

    1. Inventory the state's existing public use general aviation airport facilities and identify the role each facility plays vis--vis its location within the state and the demands of its users;

    2. Consider solutions and alternatives for the preservation of the existing public use general aviation airports, including but not limited to the public acquisition of privately owned airports and/or the purchase of airport development rights; and

    3. Develop recommendations and strategies for the preservation and rehabilitation of existing public use general aviation airports, consistent with the principles of "Fix-it-First" and "Smart Growth".

  5. The Commission shall meet at the call of the Chair. The Commission is authorized to call to its assistance and avail itself of the resources of any State department, board, bureau, commission or agency, to carry out its responsibilities under this Order. Each department, board, bureau, commission or agency is hereby required to cooperate with the Commission and furnish it with such information, personnel and assistance as is necessary to accomplish the purpose of this Order.

  6. The Commission shall issue a final report to the Governor containing its findings and recommendations, including any recommendations for legislation that it deems appropriate, not later than one year after the Commission organizes. The work of the Commission shall be concluded upon completion of the report to the Governor and shall be dissolved thirty days from the date of that report.

  7. Members of the Commission shall serve without compensation and at the pleasure of the Governor.

  8. This Order shall take effect immediately.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal this 24th day
of October in the Year of Our Lord, Two Thousand
and Three, and of the Independence of the United States,
the Two Hundred and Twenty-Eighth.

/s/ James E. McGreevey




/s/ Michael R. DeCotiis

Chief Counsel to the Governor