By technology editor Ian Bush
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Atlantic City International Airport (ACY) doesn’t have any regularly scheduled international service, but officials hope an expansion project that opened this week will change that.
The terminal expansion adds three boarding gates and a Federal Inspection Station, “which will allow us to process arriving international flights,” says Sam Donelson.
Donelson heads the South Jersey Transportation Authority (SJTA) which is marketing ACY to airlines for overseas arrivals and departures.
“We currently have international charter flights. And we do get a fair amount of diversions from some of the metropolitan airports like Newark and Philadelphia — for the most part, during bad weather situations. Now, we really are going to be able to target the scheduled international air service,” explains Donelson.
The SJTA says passenger traffic at the airport is on record-setting pace; it’s up three percent over last year’s 1.5 million total.
With this expanded terminal, Donelson expects that count to grow to more than three million passengers per year.
“We have an additional 600 seats up in the holding area for departing flights. Downstairs on the arrivals floor, we have three new bag claim belts, which more than doubles our previous capacity,” he says.
Atlantic City Expressway tolls helped fund the $27 million project. Donelson says it’s part of their push to attract more of those for whom it’s too far to drive.
“[It will help] bring those further-away customers into Atlantic City and the entire shore region, really to support the economic development here in South Jersey,” Donelson says.