Friday, March 29, 2013

Frontier Airlines will temporarily suspend flights at Trenton Mercer Airport (KTTN), New Jersey, in September

EWING — Frontier Airlines will suspend flights at Trenton-Mercer Airport for two months starting in September while construction crews install a safety enhancement project on the airport’s main runway.

The airline said in a news release today that it will suspend flights Sept. 9 and resume them Nov. 9. Frontier is currently only selling tickets for flights through Sept. 8, and this Sunday will begin selling tickets for the week of Nov. 8 to Nov. 13, the release said.

Daniel Shurz, a senior vice president with the airline, said in the release that Mercer County, which owns the airport, and Frontier collaborated to schedule the runway project for the “lowest-demand period of the year.”

During the two-month period crews will installed an Engineered Material Arresting System (EMAS) on the airport’s 6,006-foot runway. The EMAS is a series of crushable concrete blocks placed at the end of the runway to slow and stop planes that overrun the runway.

The airport installed EMAS beds at both ends of the airport’s shorter runway last year.

County officials said they are required to install the EMAS to comply with FAA regulations on runway safety.

“While suspending service is our least favored option, this short-term disruption will produce long-term gains,” County Executive Brian Hughes said in a statement. “We are pleased that our partners at Frontier are able and willing to work with us as we meet our federal obligation.”

The project will cost $15.8 million, with $14.2 million coming from the FAA. The project has been planned for several years and is required to be completed by the end of 2013.

“We look forward to welcoming customers back on board Frontier flights from Trenton-Mercer airport in November,” Shurz said in the release.

The Denver, Colo.-based airline in November began offering four flights a week from the Ewing airport to Orlando, Fla., and will expand to 10 destinations starting early next month.

The suspension of Frontier flights in September is unrelated to the expected closure of the airport's control tower due to the federal budget cuts called the sequester, which will happen May 5, according to the FAA. Frontier has said it plans to continue its regular flight schedule after staffing of the tower ends.

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