Atlantic County Economic Alliance
The Atlantic County Economic Alliance (ACEA) and the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), together with Atlantic County, Cape May County, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), the National Aviation Research and Technology Park (NARTP), the New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII) and our many industry, academic and government partners, propose to create a Smart Airport and Aviation Partnership (SAAP) in southern New Jersey that will transform the region’s innovation ecosystem by incubating, accelerating, and attracting new businesses into a cluster that is ideally matched to the region’s strengths and capabilities.
The proposed region is a four-county EDA-certified South Jersey Economic Development District that includes the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) William J. Hughes Technical Center (WJHTC) which has over 4,500 federal and contractor employees and is the FAA’s primary research and technology development center, including a new initiative on smart airport and aviation technologies. The adjoining Atlantic City International Airport (ACY) has a research cooperative agreement with the WJHTC and was recently designated as a Smart Airport Research Test-Bed Facility. The nearby Cape May County Airport (WWD) is an FAA-approved drone test flight facility. Both sites are ideal for start-up and existing companies to test smart airport technologies in a relevant environment for eventual certification and commercialization. The resources from this grant will be leveraged by the SAAP to ultimately generate $10-20 million in investment and 25-50 jobs by five years after the grant period.