By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has officially become a partner in running the Atlantic City Airport. The new partners hope that will mean more flights in and out of the resort.

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Traffic at Atlantic City Airport dropped 28 percent in the first quarter of this year (a decline attributed to the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy), but Bill Beroni, deputy director of the Port Authority, believes the new partnership can reverse the trend.

“Bringing the expertise of the Port Authority with the facility of Atlantic City airport is a terrific combination that we believe will make Atlantic City International Airport more competitive and bring in more air service, bring in more jobs, bring in more tourists, bring in more business.”

Beroni notes that between Newark, Liberty, Kennedy and LaGuardia, the Port Authority operates the busiest airport system in the world, so they’re well-positioned to boost business at A.C., “to use the connections the port authority has with the flight world to bring in increased air service to Atlantic City.”

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For example, Beroni says they’re already talking to Air Canada.

“You go down the Jersey shore this time of year, you see car after car with Canadian license plates,” Beroni says. “There’s a real draw and has been historically.”

Currently, only Spirit Airlines has regularly scheduled flights in and out.

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