LoBiondo Secures $2.5 Million Economic Development Grant for Aviation Research & Technology Park in Atlantic County
Expected to Bring 2,000 New High-Wage Jobs to Area, Project Moves to Construction Phase
POMONA, N.J. ? At a press conference at The Richard Stockton College today, U.S. Representative Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02) announced that the South Jersey Economic Development District (SJEDD) and the South Jersey Economic Development Authority (SJEDA) have been awarded $2.5 million from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) for the initial construction of the planned Aviation Research and Technology Park at the William J. Hughes FAA Tech Center in Atlantic County.
“Today, we witness great achievements that can be made when public and private interests come together. With academic institutions, private businesses and federal, state and local government working in partnership for the creation of the Aviation Research & Technology Park, we will move South Jersey to the forefront of the aviation industry,? said LoBiondo, a member of the House Aviation Subcommittee. ?I am pleased to have worked with the EDA to secure this $2.5 million grant for the planned aviation park, which will bring an estimated 2,000 high-skilled jobs into southern New Jersey. I will continue to work with the FAA Tech Center, Atlantic County government, Sto ckton College, and all vested parties to move this critical project forward.”
Joining LoBiondo for the announcement was EDA Regional Administrator Phil Saputo, SJEDD Executive Director Gordon Dahl, Atlantic County Executive Director Dennis Levinson, Stockton College President Dr. Herman Saatkamp Jr., and various members of the New Jersey Aviation Research & Technology Consortium. As outlined in the award announcement, an estimated 2,000 jobs will be created and $80 million in private investment leveraged from the development of the Aviation Research & Technology Park.
In planning development for the past three years, the Aviation Research & Technology Park will be located on a 55 acre parcel donated by the FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center in Egg Harbor Township. Development of the park will be led by the Atlantic County Government in cooperation with the non-profit foundation established by the partners in the project. The park will provide an environment where ad vanced concepts in aviation research can be explored by engineers, computer scientists, mathematicians and air traffic controllers to advance the modernization and protection of our national airspace system and increasing airspace and airport capacity. LoBiondo had previously secured $75,000 in an economic development grant for the Atlantic County Improvement Authority to initiate the feasibility study.
Announced last week, LoBiondo has also secured $341,000 in federal funding for Stockton College for the development of academic programs at the proposed industrial park and $98,000 to Atlantic County for design of the 55-acre site.
During today?s press conference, LoBiondo also announced that he has authored a provision in the House-passed FAA Reauthorization Bill (H.R. 2881) designating the FAA Tech Center as a Center of Excellence for the research and development of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NEXTGEN). The designation will enable the FAA Tech Center to leverage the expertise of academia and industry at the proposed Aviation Research & Technology Park to develop NEXTGEN. The language will help ensure this important research and the thousands of jobs at the FAA Tech Center remain in South Jersey. The legislation is pending in the Senate.
?It is clear that our aviation system is facing a significant challenge in the form of tremendous increases in traffic coupled with rapidly aging air traffic control systems. The research and development being completed at the FAA Tech Center continues to make a difference in not only keeping safe those who use our nation?s aviation network, but in protecting our homeland from known and unknown threats,? concluded LoBiondo.
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