‘Wingless planes’ arriving at Atlantic City Airport will be the next big thing to air traffic | Local News

“We don’t think of ourselves as an airport shuttle, but as an expansion of the aircraft network. We use an aircraft that does not fly,” said David Sunde, 30, who co-founded the company in 2018 with 35-year-old Ben Munson.

His company service has been booked on aa.com as part of American Airlines Travel, and buses have boarded in Dormak like an airplane.

Once regulatory approvals are received from the federal government, U.S. customers will not only check their bags and check-in at the ACY, but also carry out traffic safety management checks at the smaller airport, Sunde said.

As they board the plane, they board the bus at a gate in a tarmac and are taken directly to the gate at PHL.

A spokesman for the South Jersey Transportation Authority, which runs the airport, said the agency had shared information with American Airlines about its incentive plan “for their review and review”, but did not say whether the company would receive any incentives or credits. .

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American Airlines hits the road. The airline announced on Thursday a deal with a bus company that operates passengers to Philadelphia and two airports less than 75 miles apart. American says it will help connect more passengers to its international flights in Philadelphia. Bus service will begin on June 3 between Philadelphia International Airport and airports in Allentown, Pennsylvania and Atlantic City, New Jersey. They will be operated by Landline, which has a similar agreement with United Airlines in Denver.

Tim Kroll, director of Atlantic City International Airport, said American Airlines pays the same fees as other commercial airlines, but fails to provide estimated revenue.

The authority has subsidized airlines in the past, but only for flights departing from the airport.

Landline’s first partner is Minnesota’s Sun Country in 2019, Sunde said. It now serves seven cities across Minnesota and Wisconsin, connecting them with Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. In that market, it also runs door-to-door personal service.

“We have a partnership with United in Colorado,” Sunde said.

Sunde said the removal of the TSA at a smaller airport is a new service not offered anywhere else, although the company plans to offer it in more locations when approvals come.

On the way back to ACY, US customers will catch their bus from Philadelphia at a gate in Thermac before obtaining approvals. They do not need to negotiate through the airport.

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“You never have to leave Philadelphia airport, it’s like connecting with another plane,” Sunde said.

The bus will have a small landline logo, but will be branded as American, Sunte said.

Sunde began his career in route planning on a flight, he said.

“I noticed how challenging it is to have consistent service on short-distance routes,” Sunde said. “I’m starting to ask why we are restricted to using planes.”

In three years, he said, the company has made progress and will convince people that mixed transportation systems are the way to the future.

Sunde expects quick regulatory approval for U.S. customers to go for protection at ACY. Until it arrives, customers will check the bags and check-in at the ACY but will drop off at departure areas via TSA in Philadelphia, he said.

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Anyway, there is stress relief, Sunte said.

“I’m on my way, my bags are finished, it’s 85%,” he said.

“This is a low-tech solution to an interesting problem,” said Tony Marino, a local analyst and former deputy director of the New Jersey Expressway Authority, a forerunner of SJTA. “I like the idea. They’re trying to take advantage of the existing infrastructure – the Atlantic City Expressway.

“This is unlike the‘ Buy in the Sky ’project that connects Atlantic City Airport with the railroad,” Marino said. “That idea was too expensive for me.”

But Marino did not think it would help improve tourism.

“The concept of three buses a day, a total of 105 passengers (coming to Atlantic City),” Marino said. “Even though everyone is a tourist, it’s very rare, except that casinos are required to reap the benefits.”

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Marino said he had seen surveys of ACY users, and that more than 80% of people use the airport to travel from Atlantic City.

“The rest are relatives who come to visit,” Marino said.

Tourists who want to fly to the gaming destination will go to Las Vegas, New Orleans or Gulf countries, he said.

All tourists coming to Atlantic City do so by car within a radius of 200 to 250 miles, Marino said.

He sees the landline / American Airlines service as a boon, especially for those living in southern Jersey, especially if the federal government approves allowing people to pass the TSA test in Atlantic City.

“They are the worst problems they have to solve to succeed,” Marino said. “It’s good to provide a service, but it’s not to be confused with being a boon to the tourism and Atlantic city and the casino industry.”

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This is great news to expand the facility, but other developments there have the potential to bring in well-paying jobs outside of the tourism and gaming industries, said Lauren Moore, managing director of the Atlantic County Economic Alliance.

Moore said Friday that SJTA has submitted a request for proposals to develop 400 acres for cargo and maintenance activities in the northwestern part of the airport.

“The draft site plan shows that this site can hold up to 1.5 million square feet of cargo and hangar space here,” Moore said. “It’s very significant – thousands of jobs.”

The proposals are due May 11 and Moore said he can’t wait to see what comes next.

“We expect there to be rail freight from the Atlantic City Railroad,” Moore said. “E-commerce really exploded during the epidemic.

He and county and SJTA officials have been working for years to bring inventory and maintenance operations to ACY.

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The 400 acres, which have been set aside as a bird sanctuary for decades, will take time to grow, Moore said.

“To build that much space, it will be done in phases over a period of time,” Moore said. “I’m excited and excited to see the proposals coming in and how they are creating space.”

Until those big plans are completed, South Jersey residents can celebrate small successes like the new way of connecting with airlines in Philadelphia.

Sunte said only Landline is currently developing a multimodal transportation system for airlines.

“The whole journey is like another connecting flight,” Sunde said, adding that if bus traffic is delayed it will be delayed on the US route so customers will be sent free on the next flight.

Those who drive by themselves and get stuck in traffic may lose the value of the ticket.

“It’s like a little hidden insurance policy,” Sunde said.

Reporter: Michael Brunetti Post



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