TETERBORO – Senators Joseph C. Coniglio and Paul A. Sarlo said today’s runway crash of a corporate jet at Teterboro Airport shows the need to build a “crash wall” to protect nearby drivers and warehouse workers at one of the busiest airports in the country.
“As horrible as today’s accident was – it could have been a whole lot worse,” said Senator Sarlo. “We want to see what the investigators find out, but it’s obvious that a fence and a snowdrift can’t stop a missile loaded with jet fuel.”
Senator Coniglio said only the accident’s timing prevented a “disaster of massive proportions” after the jet veered across busy Route 46 and plunged into the Strawberry clothing warehouse where hundreds of workers are employed.
“There has to be a way to prevent the jets on that runway from racing across the highway and turning the whole neighborhood into an inferno,” Senator Coniglio said. “Some type of barrier has to be a top priority to prevent this from happening again.”
Both Bergen County Senators said they were anxious to assess the findings of both the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration as to the cause of the jet’s failure to lift off the runway, which resulted in serious injuries to drivers on Route 46 as well as to the co-pilot and several of the passengers.
“Our prayers go out to the injured and their families and our thanks and praise go to the first responders,” Senator Sarlo said. The two senators joined Acting Governor Codey and other local officials at the crash site.
Both Senators Coniglio and Sarlo have long been concerned about the need to improve safety standards at Teterboro where more than 200,000 annual arrivals and departures of mostly corporate jets are seen as daily risks to the well being of hundreds of thousands of families living within just a few miles of the facility.
“Look at the havoc caused by a small jet crossing Route 46 and smashing into the Strawberry warehouse when it wasn’t filled with workers,” Senator Coniglio said. “This should be a lesson we never forget.”
Senator Sarlo said efforts should be stepped up to curtail the number of flights at the airport located in one of the most densely populated regions of the country.
“There are just too many flights near too many people,” Senator Sarlo said.
Senator Coniglio said the “fear factor” is too great around Teterboro.
“People around Teterboro are forced to live in constant fear for the safety of themselves and their loved ones,” Senator Coniglio said. “It shouldn’t have to be this way.”