Amazon’s planned construction of an air hub at Newark International Airport has fallen through amid concerns from local residents.
As part of Amazon’s ongoing expansion of its air network, the company announced last year that it was in negotiations with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) to redevelop and expand its air cargo facilities at the airport.
But nearby residents opposed the plan citing concerns about rising air pollution at the airport due to increased operations and noise.
There were also concerns that the facility could lead to the loss of high-paying union jobs despite New Jersey governor Phil Murphy approving of the project and suggesting it would “create 1,000 jobs and provide significant opportunities for minority- and women-owned business enterprises.”
In addition, residents lamented that there was no opportunity for public comment on the project.
“Unfortunately, the Port Authority and Amazon have been unable to reach an agreement on final lease terms and mutually concluded that further negotiations will not resolve the outstanding issues.“Huntley Lawrence, PANYNJ chief operating officer
Loss of Amazon Also Represents Blow to the Port Authority
This decision also deals a blow to the Port Authority as it was poised to collect $157 million in rent for leasing the airport facilities along with a $150 million upfront payment.
“The growth of air cargo and the redevelopment of airport facilities in a manner that benefits the region as well as the local community remain a top priority of the Port Authority,” Lawrence added.
The Port Authority will now have to consider what to do with the cargo facilities that Amazon planned to redevelop at the airport.
Furthermore, it is unclear if Amazon will seek to build a Northeastern air hub at another nearby airport now that this project has been abandoned.
Currently, Amazon flies to JFK in New York, Allentown in Pennsylvania, and Hartford in Connecticut. But Newark offered the most convenient ground transportation highway and road network for the region, which made it the ideal location for the regional air hub.
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